when i was in high school, i spent a fair amount of time with friend jan bretz, a contemporary of my parents and teacher of english. we spent many an enjoyable afternoon talking about life and drinking coffee.

recently, my mind has wandered to conversations we had years and years ago about developing your voice as a writer. we talked about growth that comes to fruition as a result of chaos. she said that when you're trying to say something or when you're trying to develop a piece of writing, you have to prevail through the mess created by your initial, explosive penning until -- boom! -- the dust settles and you've found your voice, you've found what you had wanted to say and how.

finding my voice as a photographer isn't entirely different. in fact, i'd say that most creative efforts require the same sort of struggle. as a photographer, i feel sometimes that i know exactly what i want to say, and other times i feel quieted, subdued. if i were the guessing type (and i am!), i'd guess that my career and my life will be filled with a perpetual struggle to find my voice. in a way, that's comforting, and if nothing else, it won't be boring.