11 January 1957
This morning, looking for something to sink my time into, I began reading “Becoming a Writer.” Somehow, I always turned back to its original desire of mine. As my mind absorbed the first chapter all over again, I came to the conclusion [that] my previous excuses to myself for not writing were rationalizations to cover a central personality weakness – I’m afraid to write! I’m afraid to disclose my ideas, thoughts, and opinions for fear of censorship.
How do you like that! “I’m a damn scaredy-cat.” “What will people think of my ideas?” Will they disapprove of me?” I am afraid to release my honest opinions in writing for fear of revealing too much of myself. In fact, I’m so much of an appeaser – as anxious not to antagonize as fearful of my real conceptions – I can’t write a damn thing! I’m afraid to write about religion – fearful of attack in retaliation. I’m afraid to write about life as I see it or know it – someone may wonder how come I am saying these things – fearful of making explanations, fearful of not being acceptable. I feel answerable to a nebulous critic. I’m still afraid of my mother’s disapproval and censorship which is carried over through all my life. That is why I cannot write. She shut me out of her acceptance and life when I was myself – and I have been afraid ever since to be myself again.
When I was in my early teens trying to development personality – to grow up against the opposition of my mother – I earnestly sought for reasons, logic, explanations, examples to attempt to express to my mother my need to expand into an integrated personality. When she refused to listen – misinterpreted my endeavors and pleas to let me separate myself from her, I grew to hate her. Then all my talents were directed toward exposing all her weaknesses, or selfishness. Whenever I found a touch spot in her armor, I exploited it to the fullest. I became as heartless as she. Of course, I couldn’t beat her at her game. She had so much more power and influence over me than I had over her. She defeated me.
It just might be that the later stage of my analytical capacity covered over my original honest desire to attempt to correct what I observed and believed about life. By that I mean the honest desire to analyze and correct the situation, or to see it in its perspective, became covered over until no use is made of the analytical weapon except to ferret out any symptoms of dangerous domination over me and the other people. It became a weapon tear people apart, or to avoid them if they tread upon any sensitive areas of weaknesses and myself.
It became very important, also, to try to conceal my true feelings toward them (as though I could) so they would not guess my real opinion of them. What an ostrich -like pose! As though you can hide from anyone completely your real feelings summation points they may not know exactly what you are thinking, but they will sense something in one’s attitudes.
Since fear and hate, the twin stars of my life, most deeply rooted stars in my most inner personality, I have been afraid to write. Hatred, fear, and criticism of others ruled me – and what else could I write about except exposed literature, instructive literature.
It never occurred to me until this morning that when one writes with kindliness and love, people do not have to look ridiculous. One can write about very simple people. When fear and hate and critical attitudes are the motivating force – one is afraid of writing about Mrs. Mahorcic’s parsley. She might be a very simple illiterate soul. Mrs. Hartig could look like a person that might have to be apologized for being considered a friend. Aunt Roser. Eva. They would hardly measure up to Blanche’s conception of “high tone” folks intellectually. But then, she’s a damn snob – and so am I!
Shades of my mother’s tea china!
From the “Wonderful Way”:
it (the river) had captured Crenshaw’s imagination years ago. Not the imagination of a poet perhaps to be translated into lines inverses and even to unknown words. Crenshaw’s dreams were those of a man who built things; but like most builders, those who him suspected he had in himself many of the virtues of a poet because he brought harmony two things he created. He had seen late in the Leslie left her and the river) both beauty and power and he dreamed of the possibility of combining two.
Economics – the missing link.
“From Expert to Greenhorn.” B.G. was the propelling agent that set me off. Blanche’s introduction to the subject – investing in the future of America. IT&T.
My utter dismay and finally placing an order. My first stock fright. My earnings chart.
Haunting brokerage houses for booklets. And . . . taking a course in investments. So-Ed program – sitting in the investment meetings.
Chartist extraordinary. Misgivings – you deal with dollar lots then, in the street. My assigned investment used up.
Reassurance of my husband. Dependence on his financial report readings. My pressure on the kids – Billy’s stock purchase. Nancy’s resistance. My first stockholders meeting.
My delight over the idea of the luncheon for two shares of stock. I calm my conscience with the thought – well maybe someday I’ll own many shares.
My free literature.
Blanche’s urging to see my brothers. Max Epstein and his charts. Buying and selling. My conservative fear. The line from the book. Should you have to be right 50% of the time to breakeven?
Eating up my profits with buying Baron’s and Wall Street Journal’s.
At first listen to all the radio stats report’s; turned to the stock market page before the first page of the paper. Took to peering at the financial page of the corner drugstore papers. I did not subscribe to them, hoping someone would not chase me.
[There follows here a number of quotations and whatever that do not really seem terribly important to include.]