First time author and Murfreesboro resident, Jacob Isom, writes about the possibilities and importance of making changes in himself and the world around him in his new book, The Living Testament: Trading Dollars for Change.
Isom’s book examines the way people relate to each other and why it is important to be aware of our own personal stereotypes concerning race, gender, sexuality, politics, religion and music. It also discusses how one’s own perceptions of all these things could have a negative or positive impact on how we perceive and deal with others around us.
Originally from Jackson, Tenn., Isom relocated to Murfreesboro to attend Middle Tennessee State University in order to pursue a bachelor’s degree in social work. After graduating from MTSU in 2002, Isom decided to remain in the area and pursue a career in writing.
Although he never considered himself to be a writer, Isom eventually realized he always had a desire to write a book and was inspired to do so after witnessing numerous daily accounts of how today’s youth culture deals with society’s negative influences that surround them.
“I’ve always wanted to help people and make a positive impact in their lives. My mother runs a day care and I have always been around kids,” Isom said when asked why he chose the field of social work. During his time working with children, teens and adults, he has helped many individuals during their quest towards making positive changes in their lives.
When asked about his writing process, Isom explained he pushed himself to stay on a strict schedule, which consisted of researching and writing daily four to five times a week. He gathered his research from reading books, Internet articles and newspapers.“I pulled information from anywhere I could think of. Writing this book required a lot of self-discipline,” Isom said.
During the process of writing his book, Isom also started his own publishing company that he runs out of his home, which allowed him to maintain complete creative control over his writing.
Something readers will quickly notice throughout The Living Testament is its reoccurring theme of change and the emphasis placed upon it. Isom explained his motivation behind this and why it is so important to him.
“Change is something we can all accomplish. Everyone has the power to change negative habits in their lives if they really want to. Writing this book changed my own life tremendously. It made me aware of the way I treated women, that I was hanging around the wrong crowd, and also made me realize what I needed to change in my own life,” Isom said.
Now that his book has been published, Isom hopes to take it on the road and start spreading his message of positive change through a tour of college campuses. He has also started thinking ahead to the future that will include another book, which will focus on men and women and the multi-faceted relationships between them.
When asked what advice he would give to other writers, Isom said, “Don’t give up. Don’t stop writing. You can work through writer’s block and go on to pursue your goals.”