Great Quote from E.B. White

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”

What a beautiful and humorous summation of the paradox we all face!

I love this guy; author of Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little and an eccentric man who struggled at times with anxiety and depression. Like most writers it was hard for him to determine when a piece of writing was actually “done.” (The bane of rewriting for all of us, that one.) But unlike most writers, he would sometimes panic after slipping a finished manuscript into the mailbox and go to the Postmaster General at the Post Office begging to have it back. This anecdote always makes me feel a little more accepting of my own writing fears.

For a quick peek inside the brilliant, funny, and deeply humane mind of the man, here’s a brief letter he wrote for the editor of Charlotte’s Web:

E.B. White’s Fantastic Letter About Why He Wrote “Charlotte’s Web”.

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4 responses

  1. A book is a sneeze? I never quite thought of a book as a sneeze. But then, I did not read Charlotte’s Web till I was an adult. Perhaps that is why I confess to be an arachnophobe.
    I’m trying to be a recovering arachnophobe, but it is a difficult journey.
    Happy new year, Dia!

  2. Enjoying the world and improving it are not necessarily mutually exclusive activities. An obvious example is being part of an appreciative audience at a concert. A more subtle example is that if you give off happy vibes while doing something, those around you may feel the uplift and be re-energized.

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