I usually get up at about 5:30, and I'm ready to have coffee by 6, usually with my husband. He goes off to his work around 6:30, and I go off to mine. I keep a hotel room in which I do my work -- a tiny, mean room with just a bed, and sometimes, if I can find it, a face basin. I keep a dictionary, a Bible, a deck of cards and a bottle of sherry in the room.
I try to get there around 7, and I work until 2 in the afternoon. If the work is going badly, I stay until 12:30. It's lonely, and it's marvelous. I edit while I'm working. When I come home at 2, I read over what I've written that day, and then try to put it out of my mind.
I shower, prepare dinner, so that when my husband comes home, I'm not totally absorbed in my work. We have a semblance of a normal life. We have a drink together and have dinner. Maybe after dinner, I'll read to him what I've written that day. He doesn't comment. I don't invite comments from anyone but my editor, but hearing it aloud is good. Sometimes I hear the dissonance; then I try to straighten it out in the morning.
- Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was a poet, writer, singer, and civil rights activist.
"I try to keep": Interview with Walter Blum, "Listening to Maya Angelou," California Living, December 14, 1975.
Image: The Poetry Foundation. Maya Angelou.