Writer’s Desk: A Room of One’s Own


Maya Angelou receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Distractions can be killers. There are writers who churn out quality material in the middle of a newsroom’s bedlam. Others need to shut themselves off from the world completely.

Here’s what Maya Angelou (who was born this week in 1928 in St. Louis, and passed away in 2014) had to say about her process:

I do still keep a hotel room in my hometown, and pay for it by the month. I go around 6:30 in the morning. I have a bedroom, with a bed, a table, and a bath. I have Roget’s Thesaurus, a dictionary, and the Bible.

She kept a deck of cards and some crosswords on hand, and had the hotel remove any kind of decoration (paintings and such) from the room. No distractions. Well, except those crosswords and that deck of cards she kept around. One has to have something to do when blocked.

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