That’s what I’ve been told a million times over. The words literally ring in my head every time I put my fingers to a keyboard.
But really, that isn’t fair at all. I’ll be the first to admit that I know very little. I’m not smarter than a 5th grader, I’m barely an adult, I’m still learning oh so very much. So it’s constricting, that ringing sentence is. I want to chastise myself for letting myself follow such an annoyingly restrictive motto when I already know what I should be following: write what rings true. You don’t have to know every side of it or understand it, you have to feel it – and then let your story spin out from there.
To put it differently, let me borrow from Michael Chabon’s Summerland:
“I can imagine anything except having no imagination.”
So take your little kernels of truth, take the drops of wisdom that you have learned, and run with it. Let it unravel. You can dream up so much from one aching truth, if only you have the arrogance and determination to think you can.