Cut to this length (as it usually is), this powerful quote stands on its own as a kind of toast to writers of all kinds. I first chose it because I like that message and because I thought it was an interesting way to introduce the idea of different forms of writing. Once I found the original interview, however, I discovered that the rest of the statement is a powerful message, too. Continuing where the quote above left off, Maya Angelou said,
“So 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 love this description of writing – it captures the challenge of using the familiar to pull people through an adventure of emotions. At the same time, the ending gives it almost an excited air that makes me think that she looked forward to that challenge. That, to me, is the biggest difference between a writer and someone who writes.