Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was, among many other things, a master of the aphorism. Here are three of them that hold true for writers.
- "Imagination is more important than knowledge." Is it any wonder that Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein by age 20, and Carson McCullers wrote The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by 23? They could not have been so full of wisdom by their age, but they were surely full of imagination. Writers need to start from this premise.
- "Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them." Writers need to know what they don't know and then get it, if they are to expand to points of reference, depth of insight, and command of language.
- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." Pete Rose had more base hits than anyone in baseball history, but he also made more outs. Thomas Edison failed in inventing electric light more than a hundred times before he succeeded. Writers need this reminder: create fearless of failing, transform those failures into successes, and expect failures again. At least you're trying. Enjoy the experience.