|14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955|
Today is Albert Einstein's birthday! Though most famous for his scientific brilliance (i.e. his Theory of Relativity and the atomic bomb) he was also quite the philosopher. Most great minds are, I think. Anyway, since it's his birthday I thought I'd share some of my favorite quotes.
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.
Every writer should have this posted on the wall above their computer. The writing life is a constant struggle to find balance--between writing life and real life, the art of writing and the business of the career, between insanity and ... less insanity. And as much as the path seems to be rocky, full of stops and starts and obstacles flying in from the wings to knock you off into the roadside gravel, the only way to build a career is to keep moving. Forward, sideways, around in circles, sometimes backwards to start again. Keep moving. Always.
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
In college I always had a poster of Einstein with this quote framed and on my wall. It pretty much sums up my personal beliefs perfectly. To me, understanding is about many things. It's about considering other perspectives. It's about learning about different cultures and, even if you can never really understand them, accepting them. It's about education, about having a base knowledge about the world, it's histories, it's triumphs and failures, because them more you know about the world the more you understand your place in it.
Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
No one is perfect and nothing ever turns out right on the first try. I find this happens with every new project. At first, there's this honeymoon phase, where I'm brainstorming characters and relationships and plot twists. In that imaginary world of the book-that-will-be, everything is perfect. And then I start to write... From almost page one, the flaws start to show. Underdeveloped characters, dead end plot threads, silly motivations. The first draft is an exercise in seeing everything that's wrong in your book. Because that's the only way you can figure out how to go back and fix it. Then when you start the next book, you'll try to keep those existing flaws under control, only to notice new and different ones.
Do any of these quotes resonate with you? Have any other Einstein quotes to share?