The Early Diaries of Anaïs Nin: A Writer Unsure of Herself

Anaïs Nin in Wrap

An excerpt from The Early Diaries of Anaïs Nin, Volume II. From an entry dated November 1921, when the author was 18 years of age:

“I have been made to write. I have been to sit by my desk day after day, pouring into a million pages the contents of my mind and heart, the results of my observations, the thing I conceive, the things that are revealed to me, the things I must speak.

How else can I explain this flow of ideas to which my words are attached almost miraculously? It comes from within me, something stronger than my will, at the times I least expect it. I am led, I am carried way by a thing which is beyond my self, beyond control and discipline.”


“… It seems absurd to write in this manner now when I have nothing to distinguish myself from all the young people with the scribbling mania. Alas, I have done less perhaps than most of them.

When I look down upon my work, it shrinks to almost nothing. One day I write poems and essays and the next I tear and burn them, to to begin again, and in the same manner I have done this for years. Nothing satisfies me … I write in a scattering fashion, always with a purpose in mind and yet never capable of reaching it.”

. . . . . . . . . .

“My works lack ’roundness,’ concentration and clearness. I drift into vague visions and abstract forms and above all superfluities. Although it is not so, it appears very much as if my mind wandered; when I most want to appear fixed upon my subject, I deviate and miss my mark. And above all what I cannot forgive myself is the unreliableness of my judgement because of my enthusiasm.”

. . . . . . . . . .

The early diaries of Anais Nin

Anaïs Nin page on Amazon

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“Against all these handicaps, I have only a few remedies. I know that I have application, a hard-headed kind of persistence. Where will it all lead me? Roundness, concentration and clearness can be acquired.

Directness and the eloquent virtue of reserve equally so. As to my enthusiastic, explosive, and exclamatory weaknesses, I maintain they are the infirmities of my age, and I will not always be eighteen.”

. . . . . . . . . .

“… Nevertheless, I am resolved to write, write and write. Nothing can turn me away from a path I have definitely set myself to follow. And the hope that is the sustenance of poets will led me onward, if nothing else, for what can give me courage but the throughout of what I aspire to reach, and what I desire to make of myself? Oh, I must not look back or I will be frightened by what I am.”

. . . . . . . . . .

Anaïs Nin in Wrap

Anaïs Nin’s Diaries: From the Personal to the Universal
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