“Style Gets Personal” says a headline on the cover of one of my favourite design magazines, “Canadian House and Home”. I smile because in my opinion style has always been personal. But as I thumb through the pages I realize that’s not entirely true. Sometimes we deliberately imitate someone else’s style because we like it. Perhaps we think it will suit us or our use of it will impress others. Maybe we adopt a style because we haven’t figured out our own.
In one of the articles Karen Von Hahn says, “Over the years I’ve opined on all things stylish for design panels, on television and radio, and now I even blog about it. But my own style, particularly that of my own home, is really my life’s work. It’s a crucial distinction, because that’s the thing about style: it’s a creative reflection of all the places you’ve been, the encounters you’ve had and the influences you’ve gathered along the way. It’s also your personal imprint, your particular point of view, which, at least in my case, is always evolving.”
Isn’t this also true when it comes to our writing style? Our “personal imprint” and “particular point of view” evolve as life changes us. At the beginning we have trouble identifying our style, our voice. We start where we are, with what we have, fretting because we don’t have what it takes to create a distinctive effect.
I wonder if maybe it is through experience and discovery that we begin to recognize a unique style already exists, albeit one that will change as we mature.
If we hone our writing skills and combine them with simply being ourselves on the page, will our personal style emerge all on its own?