As long as I can remember being, I have been shy. I am the one in the photograph who holds on to Mama's skirt hanging from the chair on which she sits and whose face is in her armpit. My sister whom I follow in birth order, correctly has her hand on Mama's shoulder, fingers just barely touching that shoulder, her head erect and her eyes front. My sister was the one who took the visiting Parson's white daughter around the church yard. What do you say to someone who looks like that? Blue and with straw hair. This was our first close-up view of a white child and there is my sister walking and talking with her as if she's known her all her life! I admired my conversationally capable sister. I continued through life to admire out-going people, an easy thing what with my ring-side seat, for my best friend was always one of that kind. My shyness did not mean that I didn' t do my bit of public-speaking and drama. I was considered quite good at that, so people and I did get a chance to hear my voice but as we know reciting and acting are of set pieces and do not require the mental inventiveness, verbal agility and the ability to outpsyche the other that conversation requires. I lacked these.
Brodber, Erna, Why I Write, Kunapipi, 16(1), 1994.