Maya Angelou’s body died yesterday. She lives in her writing.
It is impossible for me to read her work without being moved. Over the years I became fascinated with her writing process and views on how to get the work done. Here are two quotes from Maya Angelou about writing. Savor them. Learn from them.
“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’…. And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.”
“I know when it’s the best I can do. It may not be the best there is. Another writer may do it much better. But I know when it’s the best I can do. I know that one of the great arts that the writer develops is the art of saying, No. No, I’m finished. Bye. And leaving it alone. I will not write it into the ground. I will not write the life out of it. I won’t do that.”
The second quote is from her Paris Review Interview (116). Read it for more about her thinking and her writing process.
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