Do you ever wonder why, if you write, that you do so?
This morning’s Writer’s Almanac, a great daily read if you’re interested in writers and writing and other such trivial pursuits, brought this quote from E.B. White, essayist and author of children’s classics Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web (not to mention co-author, with William Strunk, of the magisterial manual, The Elements of Style):
White wrote in a letter to his brother:
“I discovered a long time ago that writing of the small things of the day, the trivial matters of the heart, the inconsequential but near things of this living, was the only kind of creative work which I could accomplish with any sincerity or grace. […] The rewards of such endeavor are not that I have acquired an audience or a following, as you suggest (fame of any kind being a Pyrrhic victory), but that sometimes in writing of myself — which is the only subject anyone knows intimately — I have occasionally had the exquisite thrill of putting my finger on a little capsule of truth, and heard it give the faint squeak of mortality under my pressure, an antic sound.”
He could have been talking about many of us bloggers. Many of us write of ourselves, and the small things of our days, and heaven knows many of us have no large audience or following, and yet —
And yet I think all of us occasionally know the intense pleasure of pressing on a little capsule of truth, hearing a faint squeak of mortality, antic in the sense of fantastical and odd, reassuring us that this, this is why we write. And it’s enough.