Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou was an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. 1 2 3


Maya Angelou was an early riser. She’d typically wake up at 5:30, be ready to drink a coffee with her husband by 6am and leave for work by 6:30 am. Maya’s chosen workspace was a hotel room which she described as “a tiny, mean room, with just a bed”. She ensured the room was always stocked with a dictionary, a bible, playing cards and some sherry. After arriving at the hotel at around 7 am, Maya would work until 2 pm.


Sometimes if work was not productive enough Maya left her workspace at 2:30 pm. However, if the creative ideas were flowing, she would stay for longer. In an interview, she spoke about her work time as being “lonely, and it’s marvellous”. Once returning home at 2 pm, the American poet reviewed her day’s writing and then focused on other things for the rest of the day. Afterwards, she had shower and prepared dinner to be ready for when her husband arrived home from work.


In the evening, Maya had a drink and dinner with her husband. Occasionally, she’d read aloud her day’s writings to him. This was not intended to invite praise or criticism, as her editor was the only person she’d receive comments from, rather she thought it was good practice to hear her writings aloud.


Maya aimed to get to sleep at around 10 pm every night and if she needed to make any edits to her writing, she’d complete them the following morning.