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82_babyface

Another baby photo!

My creative head has been in my writing rather than my photography this week.  When I start to get muddled, I turn to E.B. White.  He is one of my writing mentors.

“Style takes its final shape more from attitudes of mind than from principles of composition, for, as an elderly practitioner once remarked, ‘Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.’  This moral observation would have no place in a rule book were it not that style is the writer, and therefore what you are, rather than what you know, will at last determine your style.”  — E.B. White, The Elements of Style

“. . . therefore what you are, rather than what you know, will at last determine your style.”  I love the paradox imbedded in this sentence.  It is both reassuring and intimidating.  Few, I can just be myself.  Wait, who am I?

Who am I, when I write a piece for a homeschooling magazine?  Who am I, when I write a story about farmers for our local land trust?  Who am I, when I write an article about our homebirth community?

Who am I, when I at last sit down at my desk — covered in books and paper, tiny things made by my girls, love notes, baby nail clippers, stickers, and an unfinished doll scarf still on toothpick-sized knitting needles — and write a chapter of a book?  My children’s book?

“Writing is an act of faith,” E.B. White says.  Maybe that is why I come back to it again and again.  Writing is where I uncover my truth and find my story.  Sometimes I think I come to tell a story . . . but more often that not, I come to find it.

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