January 25, 2016

Motivation Monday: Maya Angelou

 "You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated."

Maya Angelou was a writer, poet, and activist for both black and women's rights. Though known primarily for her writing, she also performed in theater and was nominated for an Emmy for her appearance in Roots.

Fun Facts about Maya Angelou:
  • As a civil rights activist, she worked with both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on her 40th birthday.
  • Was friends with Oprah Winfrey. 
  • Never earned a college degree, but her work is a staple of colleges around the world.
  • Had an interesting writing ritual:

    She would wake early and check into a hotel. She would write on legal pads while lying on the bed, with only a bottle of sherry, a deck of cards, a thesaurus, and the Bible. She would leave in the afternoon and edit the pages that evening. 

    Angelou said she played solitaire in order to get to that place of enchantment where she could access her memories more effectively. (Maya Angelou: A Critical Companion by Mary Jane Lupton).
So What?
Maya Angelou's life epitomizes falling and getting back up. Her works are beautiful because they come from an understanding of both failures and successes. Most writers will never accomplish half what she did, but her reminder is a great one. We'll all be defeated at various points in the writing journey, but that doesn't mean the journey as a whole is a failure. Keep working. Keep hoping. Keep enjoying the successes that come.

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