The Best Octavia Butler quotes

Octavia Butler quotes thumbnail

Octavia Butler was a science fiction writer who blazed trails for other black writers in the genre. She used her writing to explore social issues, and her books have been credited with bringing more people of color into the field of science fiction. Her work has also been praised for its imaginative power and realistic depiction of future societies. Butler’s influence is still felt today, and she remains an inspiration to many aspiring writers. In this post, we’ll take a look at her life and career, and see what lessons we can learn from her best quotes.

Discover the most inspiring Writing, Giving, Science, Change quotes from Octavia Butler, and much more.


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About Octavia Butler

birth of the author

June 22, 1947

death of the author

February 24, 2006

occupation of the author


date of the author


genre of the author

Science Fiction

award of the author

Notable Awards:
Macarthur Fellow; Hugo Award; Nebula Award; And Others


Science fiction is not formulaic. โ€” Octavia E. Butler

The thing about science fiction is that it’s totally wide open. But it’s wide open in a conditional way. โ€” Octavia Butler

Science fiction let me do both. It let me look into science and stick my nose in everywhere. โ€” Octavia Butler

Science fiction frees you to go anyplace and examine anything. โ€” Octavia E. Butler

So fantasy was fine early on, and when I discovered science fiction, I was very happy with it, because my first interest in science fiction came with an interest in astronomy. โ€” Octavia E. Butler

I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining. โ€” Octavia Butler

And by the way, I wanted to point out that Kindred is not science fiction. You’ll note there’s no science in it. It’s a kind of grim fantasy. โ€” Octavia Butler


I’m me, and I’m here, and I’m writing. โ€” Octavia Butler

Well, writing was what I wanted to do, it was always what I wanted to do. I had novels to write so I wrote them. โ€” Octavia Butler

i m me and i m here and i m writing Octavia Butler quote

If there’s any single talent a writer needs, it’s persistence. If you can keep at your writing and you can learn as you write, you can tell any story you want to tell. โ€” Octavia Butler

I have this theory that anything that happens to you that leaves you alive and intact can be used somewhere in your writing. โ€” Octavia Butler

Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyse yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it. โ€” Octavia Butler

No one was going to stop me from writing and no one had to really guide me towards science fiction. It was natural, really, that I would take that interest. โ€” Octavia Butler

I began reading science fiction before I was 12 and started writing science fiction around the same time. โ€” Octavia Butler

Fantasy is totally wide open; all you really have to do is follow the rules you’ve set. But if you’re writing about science, you have to first learn what you’re writing about. โ€” Octavia Butler

The only black people you found were occasional characters or characters who were so feebleโ€“witted that they couldn’t manage anything, anyway. I wrote myself in, since I’m me and I’m here and I’m writing. โ€” Octavia Butler

You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. โ€” Octavia Butler


The only lasting truth is change. God is change. โ€” Octavia Butler

God is Change. Earthseed: The Books of the Living Lauren Oya Olamina โ€” Octavia E. Butler

the only lasting truth is change god is change Octavia Butler quote

All that you touch You Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God is Change. โ€” Octavia E. Butler

Redundant Thematics

In Octavia Butler Statements


Every story I write adds to me a little, changes me a little, forces me to reexamine an attitude or belief, causes me to research and learn, helps me to understand people and grow. โ€” Octavia E. Butler

How dull it is to have people defining you. โ€” Octavia E. Butler

Ignorance Protects itself, And protected, Ignorance grows. โ€” Octavia Butler

Drowning people Sometimes die Fighting their rescuers. โ€” Octavia Butler

ignorance protects itself and protected ignorance grows Octavia Butler quote


Humans persecute their different ones, yet they need them to give themselves definition and status. โ€” Octavia Butler

We give our dead To the orchards And the groves. We give our dead To life. โ€” Octavia Butler

I used to give up writing like some people would give up smoking. โ€” Octavia E. Butler

Be who you are and not who someone else thinks you ought to be. โ€” Octavia Butler

We’re all capable of climbing so much higher than we usually permit ourselves to suppose. โ€” Octavia Butler

we give our dead to the orchards and the groves we give our dead to life Octavia Butler quote

Beware, all too often we say what we hear others say. We think what we are told that we think. We see what we are permitted to see. Worse, we see what we are told that we see. โ€” Octavia E. Butler


Butlerโ€™s words remind us that there is always something new to learn, and that we should never give up on our dreams. We hope these quotes have been as inspiring for you as they have been for us. If you are looking for more ways to be inspired, check out our courses page where you can find online classes on a variety of topics, including creativity, writing, and entrepreneurship.

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