Entertainment & Reviews · Tips & Ideas

Maya Angelou’s “Letter to My Daughter” & Writing Our Own Stories


Believe it or not, this is the first Maya Angelou book I’ve read.  I feel like I should beat myself up a little bit for not having read her work before – considering she is a much loved and praised author. I was incredibly impressed with her collection of essays in Letter to My Daughter.  Her way of writing had a tender way of touching my heart and opening my mind to her perspectives.  I embraced her thoughtful observations and powerful statements and found myself pausing and reflecting after reading each section.

The book is a collection of reflective essays – the advice and love within are dedicated to the daughter that she never had (she was, however, the mother to a son).  I think in dedicating it to the daughter she never had is opening it up to being dedicated to all the daughters in this world.

Some of my favorite bits of wisdom from Letter to My Daughter include:

  • “A friend my be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”
  • “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. Do not complain. Make every effort to change things you do not like. If you cannot make a change, change the way you have been thinking. You might find a new solution.”
  • “There was a possibility that God really did love me, me Maya Angelou. I suddenly began to cry at the gravity and grandeur of it all. I knew that if God loved me, then I could do wonderful things, I could try great things, learn anything, achieve anything.”
  • “I may never be known as a philanthropist, but I certainly am a lover of mankind, and I will give freely of my resources.”

While reading Ms. Angelou’s essays and experiences, I was reminded that we’re all storytellers.  We tell stories everyday about our own experiences in casual conversation or through various means of social media.  We may not all be writers like Maya, but our stories are just as valuable. Our thoughts, whether we think them creative or not, will be important to those who will desire to know us when we can no longer tell our stories.

So, let’s write down our stories.  If you’re stumped on how to start writing your own personal stories, I recommend checking out this link with 52 questions that you can answer to help you get started. I know that one of my resolutions this upcoming year is to document my life better in a journal.

What tips have you found useful when documenting your life’s experiences?  Feel free to comment below if you have any suggestions!


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