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Discouragement has shrivelled my brain, invaded my senses, and messed with my Mo Jo. And yet, inspiration finds me in many ways, seeping through cracks and crevices and social media pages. Messages from the cosmos, words  from individuals who have impacted the world with insight.

The latest road sign on the inspiration highway, words from Albert Einstein, appeared on my Facebook newsfeed:

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”

Pretty heady stuff, eh?

I don’t see myself as a shapeless face in the crowd. I’m a writer with a blog–not exactly original–but I have embraced the unique…

Haven’t I?

I don’t blog about writing. Writing is b-o-r-i-n-g. Trust me, writing’s what I do for a living, and it is not glamourous at all.

It also isn’t much of a living. Snort.

Because I am a writer, the writing life flavours my posts, but rarely is writing the feature point of my posts. Not even today.

At a recent workshop, front row and basking in the glow of literary agent extraordinaire, Donald Maass, I found validation: I dont’ have to fit a pre-defined genre to be successful as a writer. It’s okay if not everyone gets my work. The lead in my pencil nearly snaps as I scribble Maassisms into my notebook, and this one? Well, this one warrants an asterisk and a double-underline, followed by an exclamation point:

“A great story, beautifully told, will find an audience.”

And still, I struggle.

I struggle to understand why I struggle.

The quote from Einstein fuels me with hope, yet at the same time, fuels my angst. If the crowd I must escape were a circle, and each road I could take were a degree, then there are 360 paths I could choose.

Which way shall I go?

Enter, a man with a dream and a tightrope and a gazillion gallons of rushing water.

Every journey begins with a step. The world watched Nik Wallenda achieve his goal Step by dangerous Step.

But the first step of Nik’s journey did not begin when he set foot on the wire on June 15.

Impressive as Nik’s walk across the falls was, I was every bit as inspired by his earnestness. In an age of political correctness, when many refrain from speaking their faith out loud for fear they may offend, Nik Wallenda brought his faith to the forefront. He did not lose his equilibrium because his focus was on his faith, his creator, his saviour. His focus did not falter because his faith was sound.

Lately, I’ve felt my focus is on vacation. Nik’s walk reminded me of an Old Testament passage. As I set out to write this post, I pulled out my Bible, thinking, first, before I start my day, I must renew with prayer, something I’ve done little of the last year.

Bible in my hands, the book fell open to the passage. Numbers 21: 4-9

Walking the tightrope, Nik did something many of us do not, or if we do, we do so in our heads. He spoke his faith. Unconventional in this day and age. Certainly, a tightrope step away from the crowd.

Through Nik’s example, my focus is sharpened, and back where it belongs, one sure-footed, concentrated step outside the crowd.

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