angeloubooksigning103008_4To commemorate the passing of Maya Angelou, who left us May 28th, 2014, at the age of 86, we thought we’d share some of her sage words, particularly her thoughts about words, writing, creativity and the wisdom that comes from each…

Ms. Angelou was proof positive that words can indeed drive passions and make a difference… RIP to a great lady and a great writer… Do you have a favorite quote about writing? Share it with us, too!

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
―  From I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.”

“I don’t know about lying for novelists. I look at some of the great novelists, and I think the reason they are great is that they’re telling the truth. The fact is they’re using made-up names, made-up people, made-up places, and made-up times, but they’re telling the truth about the human being—what we are capable of, what makes us lose, laugh, weep, fall down, and gnash our teeth and wring our hands and kill each other and love each other.”

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”

“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”

“Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.”
― From I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

When you learn, teach, when you get, give.”

Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.

“We need to remember that we are all created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed.”

“I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.”

maya-angelou-writing“Words are things… Some day we’ll be able to measure the power of words. I think they are things. They get on the walls. They get in your wallpaper. They get in your rugs, in your upholstery, and your clothes, and finally in to you.”

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

“I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music.”

“Poetry puts starch in your backbone so you can stand, so you can compose your life.”

“Making a decision to write was a lot like deciding to jump into a frozen lake.”

“When I am writing, I am trying to find out who I am, who we are, what we’re capable of, how we feel, how we lose and stand up, and go on from darkness into darkness. I’m trying for that. But I’m also trying for the language. I’m trying to see how it can really sound. I really love language. I love it for wate it does for us, how it allows us to explain the pain and the glory, the nuances and delicacies of our existence. And then it allows us to laugh, allows us to show wit. Real wit is shown in language. We need language.”

“Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.”

— Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

 

Tagged on:     

9 thoughts on “Maya Angelou’s Legacy: Inspiring Quotes for Writers

  • May 29, 2014 at 11:20 am
    Permalink

    Thanks Shari! such a treasure trove

  • May 29, 2014 at 10:45 am
    Permalink

    Thanks for a memorable collection of Maya’s quotations. She leaves a legacy of hope, health and harmony.

  • May 29, 2014 at 10:24 am
    Permalink

    This is a beautiful post and tribute to a wise soul and inspiring writer.
    Deb

  • May 29, 2014 at 10:02 am
    Permalink

    Dr. Maya Angelou was and is a wonderful woman. Her spirit remains with us.

    Dr. Angelou was scheduled to speak at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri on June 10. Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kansas was planning to offer her books for sale following her speech.

    In anticipation of the event, the store’s newsletter stated, “Dr. Maya Angelou is a remarkable Renaissance woman who is hailed as one of the great voices of contemporary literature. Her words have been a source of comfort, encouragement and strength for millions of people around the world. Dr. Angelou is a poet, playwright, director, actor, best-selling author, social activist and so much more. Experience this inspiring evening with a living legend!”

    • May 29, 2014 at 6:05 pm
      Permalink

      Aw… A lovely tribute… I love that term, Renaissance woman… an aspiration, to be sure 🙂

  • May 29, 2014 at 8:37 am
    Permalink

    Such a wonderful post. Maya took risks on the page and I for one – am
    thankful to her for that.

    When she said : “We need to remember that we are all created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed,” it crystallized what I’d known about my own writing. That imagination is more
    important than knowledge….

    • May 29, 2014 at 2:32 pm
      Permalink

      As if I needed a reminder that one of America’s best writers/poets has made the transition. Thanks,

Comments are closed.