10 Writing Quotes From Maya Angelou to Inspire You

Need some writing inspiration for your next project? Maya Angelou is a classic legend with her quotes on writing.

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Maya Angelou is a celebrated writer and book legend. She was a poet, singer, civil rights advocate, and, memoirist. Her writing style was more pioneering and autobiographical. Some of her classics you may have heard or read such as I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Mom & Me & Mom, and And Still I Rise. Here are ten writing quotes that will inspire you creatively.

Maya Angelou sitting in a chair

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

Maya Angelou

Keeping your thoughts and ideas inside isn’t healthy. Whether it’s a positive or negative perspective, writing it down and letting it all flow could lead to a potential story or internal relief for speaking your truth.

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

Maya Angelou

Writing is supposed to help you get into your feelings and to move people. One of the goals a writer should have is to let their writing get into the heart and move people.

3. “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 beingwhat 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.”

Maya Angelou

Any form of writing that a writer displays has its truth in it. Whether it’s a concept, a perspective, an idea, or a reflection. Regardless of whether it’s historical, fiction, or nonfiction, there is truth to it in regards to being human or living. This is why we can relate to or see ourselves in characters.

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

Maya Angelou

We all want to be successful in our writing endeavors but remember that aiming for the heart and inspiring people is even more rewarding. Don’t forget to write for yourself!

5. “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.”

Maya Angelou

Feelings always stay with us, those raw emotions at that moment are what can impact you for years to come. Your writing is a great example of that. Write your truths, happy and hard times, and let them move others and take shape in their minds and hearts.

Maya Angelou wearing a necklace and a red collared shirt

6. “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.”

Maya Angelou

Literature gives people power. We are so consumed by technology that not many youths take the time to immerse themselves in new stories, ideas, and perspectives. Reading may be fictitious, nonfiction, or creative, but it still gives our minds a broader horizon.

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

Maya Angelou

You may not think you have a creative bone in your body, but that isn’t true. We all have creative ways to express ourselves. In this case, writing is your strong suit.

8. “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 what 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.”

Maya Angelou

This quote is self-explanatory. writing is a great opportunity to find out about your deepest truths, life, reflections, and experiences. The power of language impacts you and those who read it.

9. ” Like a pianist runs her fingers over the keys, I’ll search my mind for what to say. Now, the poem may want to write it. And then sometimes you see a situation and think, ‘I’d like to write about that.’ Those are two different ways of being approached by a poem, or approaching a poem.”

Maya Angelou

This quote seems to give off the ‘go with the flow’ of the writing process. Sometimes the characters or story writes itself or you conjure up the idea through an experience.

10. ” You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”

Maya Angelou

Everyone gets angry. The issue is how we use it. Many resorts to a physical or verbal confrontation. But there are creative ways to let out your anger and it can become a beautiful thing. They say adding intense pressure can make a diamond.

For more inspirational content on Maya Angelou try viewing Maya Angelou: A Voice On The Pulse Of The Morning