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By JE Bolton

For as long as I’ve been writing, the one question I’m always asked is, “Where do you come up with your writing ideas?”

Though this is a common question, the truth is that my creativity can come from anywhere. I’ve gotten inspiration for whole chapters while pumping gas, walking in the park, or even cleaning the bathroom toilet. You never know when it will hit, but that’s why I’ve got to keep an open mind and a notepad handy.

Also, I have another secret.

It doesn’t hurt to be a dreamer, either. I live by one quote when it comes to my life. It comes from T.E. Lawrence who said, “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was all in vain: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men. For they may act upon their dreams with eyes wide open and make it possible.”

I suppose that’s why failure has never been an obstacle for me.

My mom used to tell my sisters and I that if you never try you never know. It’s rather funny that I’m more afraid of the cook messing up my order at a restaurant than I am of great failure.

The truth is you’ve not only got to have book-smarts, but you’ve also got to think outside the box. If you stand afraid of everything that seems hard, you’ll never know what was waiting for you on the other side. I’ve learned that through so many failures in my own life.

No one can dust yourself off but you. Life is always about trying. Face it, if the little engine never “thought he could,” he would’ve never been able to say that he could when he climbed the mountain.

I know that my outlook on living is far from anything realistic and believable in the eyes of modern-day corporate America. Nevertheless, I can hold my head high and say that I’ve done far more than most have. I’ve laugh in the face of fear, turn a cheek to the pain of rejection, and mocked the very essence of failure. These things might appear vicious, but they can’t hold a candle to me.

Dear readers, let me encourage you to stay true to yourself.

You might’ve been trapped underneath a burning heap of fire, but waiting underneath that burning heap is a mighty phoenix that’s waiting to rise from the ashes. I might live my life rather dangerously, but I’m not alone. There are many of you out there like me: lowly fathers, single mothers, and the heartbroken. In fact, that dangerous person may even be you.

Let’s live dangerously together and live the truth from Scarlett O’ Hara who said, “After all, tomorrow is just another day.”