The Maya Angelou Quote That Made Me Write … Everyday

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tumblr_n6bdq6gaMe1rpwhvdo1_500I don’t know much about Maya Angelou. I would like to say I read her books, watched her interviews and was a big fan, but I wasn’t. My only real connection with Maya Angelou was through her quotes. Quotes that I saw scattered all over the internet and even referenced in some of my writings.

I loved her quotes because they were witty, introspective and had impact. As a creative she connected with me. And of all her amazing quotes, there is a one quote that really hit with me … that really helped me. 

That was the time I struggled with blogging regularly. I had all these great stories I wanted to write, I would come up with the thoughts in my head, even write it down on pieces of papers. So many papers that I will literarily have my bag littered with articles over articles, chapters over chapters, but yet I did not put them on my blog. Granted I had published 2 books at that time, but yet I was not writing 90% of the thoughts that came into my head … my blog was a once a week love hate affair and sometimes once a month. I spent my time on other people blogs admiring their consistency. People like Seth Godin.

And then I stumbled upon this quote that said “there is no greater agony than having an untold story inside you.” How she wrote this down or came up with that is beyond me, because it was so perfect. Perfect because I always felt the pain and agony of how great an article I never wrote would have been if i had just written it at this time or how great that sketch would have been if I had drawn at that time.

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

My problem was that I was looking for the perfect time, the perfect condition, the perfect moment, I was waiting for inspiration to hit me when I was ready to receive it. But that quote made me feel guilty for not writing the words in my head. I would like to say that immediately I saw the quote, that I started writing more and more, but that is a lie, I slumped off and did the one week thing again for months. And then I started pushing myself harder, what about 2 articles a week. What about 3 a week and then I would relapse. It was back and forth, back and forth, but with consistency I hit a stride. And for the past 3 weeks (or so) I have been able to write/blog every single day.

What changed? Nothing really. My free time did not increase, my schedule did not change, but my mindset had. And I believe it all started with that quote 2 years ago, that made me feel guilty. And all I can say is thank you Maya …

twitterWritten By Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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Ofili

Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
Follow him on Twitter
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Feed his children at…no wait he has no kids…. 

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23 comments on “The Maya Angelou Quote That Made Me Write … Everyday

  1. Thank you so much for posting this Ofili. I’m at that point right now where I have things to write about but I slack off because I feel it’s not ‘perfect’ enough. I have just realised that it isn’t just about the agony that comes from not writing; it is also about the missed opportunity to bless others. I am going to commit to writing consistently, going forward.

  2. Oluwafisayomi on said:

    Thanks so much ofili for your help with my brother last month.I’ve been offline for a while nd miss ur articles and commenting(can’t wait to get back though).And its good to knw so many people tap from the inspiring quotes of Maya….My all time fav was “Life is a glorious banquet,a limitless and delicious buffet”I’m using was cos the one you shared just stole my numba one quote position right now cos it describes my writing agony.Thanks for sharing!

  3. We don’t realize but story telling is very important part of our lives. We love to gather around and tell each other stories. Writing is the same where you tell your stories. It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as people understand you. It will get better and better everyday with practice and learning from other writers. Keep writing and reading, you have an interesting blog here.
    Natalie latest post is Consequences of Reckless Driving AttitudesMy Profile

  4. @ofili, she was indeed a great woman who defiled all odds. she wrote her own story even when she could have thrown in the towel and submit to life’s forces. @ukachi, i think its because we knock ourselves before others get the chance to knoc us. we have already fallen short of our percieved standards of other people. it takes a whole lot of commitment and consistence. when i look at my scrap note, i shake my head. Eventhough sometimes they serve as precursors to other articles, we just need to push them out. by pushing them out, we begin the prunning process of honing our skills, we get feedback and become better writers. @ofili, welldone for 3 consistent weeks of literal regimen. More power to your elbow and more ink to your pen. (y)

  5. dave on said:

    okay, permission to digress abit…Now we know what drives you to write. Probably not the money, yeah? :-D…forgive me, i’m still not over that “passion is bullshit, and bullshit can’t make you successful” article. Amazing quote by the way.

  6. Toonna on said:

    Great post Ofili. I noticed too you had begun consistently writing daily a few weeks a go, I assumed it was something you read on Godin’s site.

    As Maya has inspired us and left the world, you Ofili also inspires many in more ways than you know. May we all be inspired to take action and shine all the light within us out into this dark world.

    Amen.

  7. Oni Oluwamuyiwa on said:

    Well, considering the fact that am a graduate of Literature from ABU Zaria, we were privileged to have read some of her books, smiles, fortunately and unfortunately I didn’t pay attention to some of the class discussions on Maya.
    Ofili this is one of the best works I have read, not because of the use of imagery or poetic stylistics, but because of the amount of truth that comes with your writing. Secondly this is simply an inspiration passed from Maya to Ofili then Others…I have created my blog but it awaits its first writings, hopefully soon, going through the same phase as you did, but in all my readings I will never forget this Article. The classicals would call this SUBLIME…

  8. Nchewi on said:

    …And what I like the most about Ofili is his sincerity. Maya Angelou has left her mark. May we find the strength and grace to leave ours!

  9. Olabisi Abraham on said:

    Thanks for the post Ofili. Bigger thanks to Maya. Nothing other than a personal experience could have inspired such a deep & inspiring quote. Definitely she had her period of guilty inconsistency before pushing herself hard to overcome the struggle. I’m convicted but hope to sin no more.

  10. Babade on said:

    I guess this quote is also directed at me. I’ve loved and longed to start a blog but I’ve been waiting for that ‘perfect time’. I guess now is the time.

  11. Nice post. it was meant for me apparently because I am still struggling with writing. I have published no books but I have like 6-10 jotters and books I have been writing in since I can remember. Its so scary to write and publish. its like no one will read, or not good enough. But I shall keep trying.

    Thanks Ofili………………

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