Maya Angelou on Writing

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.”

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

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

Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.

Tell the truth and not the facts.

If you are going to write autobiography, don't expect that it will clear anything up. It makes it more clear to you, but it doesn't alleviate anything.

The writer has to take the most used, most familiar objects—nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs—ball them together and make them bounce, turn them a certain way and make people get into a romantic mood; and another way, into a bellicose mood. I'm most happy to be a writer.

I see a yellow pad, and my knees get weak, and I salivate.

Poetry is the strongest language we have.