66 Inspirational Octavia Butler Quotes On Success In Life

Octavia Estelle Butler was an American science fiction author. Multiple recipients of both the Hugo and Nebula awards, she became in 1995 the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. Born in Pasadena, California, Butler was raised by her widowed mother. Extremely shy as a child, Butler found an outlet at the library reading fantasy and writing. These Octavia Butler quotes will motivate you.

Best Octavia Butler Quotes

  1. “Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be told lies. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.” ~ Octavia Butler, Octavia Butler quotes on leadership
  2. “No, I think the future of humanity will be like the past, we’ll do what we’ve always done and there will still be human beings. Granted, there will always be people doing something different and there are a lot of possibilities.” ~ Octavia Butler
  3. “In order to rise From its own ashes, A phoenix First Must Burn.” ~ Octavia Butler

  4. “Beware: Ignorance Protects itself. Ignorance Promotes suspicion. Suspicion Engenders fear. Fear quails, Irrational and blind, Or fear looms, Defiant and closed. Blind, closed, Suspicious, afraid, Ignorance Protects itself, And protected, Ignorance grows.” ~ Octavia Butler
  5. “We’re all capable of climbing so much higher than we usually permit ourselves to suppose.” ~ Octavia Butler
  6. “Every story I create creates me. I write to create myself. 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.” ~ Octavia Butler
  7. “Be who you are and not who someone else thinks you ought to be.” ~ Octavia Butler

  8. “People have the right to call themselves whatever they like. That doesn’t bother me. It’s other people doing the calling that bothers me.” ~ Octavia Butler
  9. “All struggles are essentially power struggles. Who will rule? Who will lead? Who will define, refine, confine, design? Who will dominate? All struggles are essentially power struggles, and most are no more intellectual than two rams knocking their heads together.” ~ Octavia Butler
  10. “Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.” ~ Octavia Butler
  11. “Consider We are born Not with purpose, But with potential.” ~ Octavia Butler

  12. “I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.” ~ Octavia Butler
  13. “We need the stars… We need purpose! We need the image the Destiny to take root among the stars gives us of ourselves as a purposeful, growing species. We need to become the adult species that the Destiny can help us become! If we’re to be anything other than smooth dinosaurs who evolve, specialize and die, we need the stars…. When we have no difficult, long-term purpose to strive toward, we fight each other. We destroy ourselves. We have these chaotic, apocalyptic periods of murderous craziness.” ~ Octavia Butler
  14. “Kindness eases change Love quiets fear” ~ Octavia Butler, Octavia Butler quotes on love
  15. “People who want to write either do it or they don’t. At last I began to say that my most important talent – or habit – was persistence. Without it, I would have given up writing long before I finished my first novel. It’s amazing what we can do if we simply refuse to give up.” ~ Octavia Butler
  16. “Drowning people Sometimes die Fighting their rescuers.” ~ Octavia Butler

  17. “The child in each of us Knows paradise. Paradise is home. Home as it was Or home as it should have been. Paradise is one’s own place, One’s own people, One’s own world, Knowing and known, Perhaps even Loving and loved. Yet every child Is cast from paradise- Into growth and new community, Into vast, ongoing Change.” ~ Octavia Butler
  18. “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.” ~ Octavia Butler, Octavia Butler quotes on writing
  19. “The only black people you found were occasional characters or characters who were so feeble-witted that they couldn’t manage anything, anyway. I wrote myself in, since I’m me and I’m here and I’m writing.” ~ Octavia Butler
  20. “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.” ~ Octavia Butler
  21. “Ignorance Protects itself, And protected, Ignorance grows.” ~ Octavia Butler

  22. “I have this theory that anything that happens to you that leaves you alive and intact can be used somewhere in your writing.” ~ Octavia Butler
  23. “Sometimes, one must become a master to avoid becoming a slave.” ~ Octavia Butler
  24. “All that you touch You Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God is Change.” ~ Octavia Butler, Octavia Butler quotes on change
  25. “Humans persecute their different ones, yet they need them to give themselves definition and status.” ~ Octavia Butler
  26. “Tolerance, like any aspect of peace, is forever a work in progress, never completed, and, if we’re as intelligent as we like to think we are, never abandoned.” ~ Octavia Butler
  27. “When your rage is choking you, it is best to say nothing.” ~ Octavia Butler

  28. “I’m a 48-year-old writer who can remember being a 10-year-old writer and who expects someday to be an 80-year-old writer. I’m also comfortably asocial — a hermit in the middle of Los Angeles — a pessimist if I’m not careful, a feminist, a Black, a former Baptist, an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive.” ~ Octavia Butler
  29. “Civilization is to groups what intelligence is to individuals. It is a means of combining the intelligence of many to achieve ongoing group adaptation. Civilization, like intelligence, may serve well, serve adequately, or fail to serve its adaptive function. When civilization fails to serve, it must disintegrate unless it is acted upon by unifying internal or external forces.” ~ Octavia Butler
  30. “The big talent is persistence.” ~ Octavia Butler
  31. “I’m me, and I’m here, and I’m writing.” ~ Octavia Butler

  32. “If you want a thing–truly want it, want it so badly that you need it as you need air to breathe, then unless you die, you will have it. Why not? It has you. There is no escape. What a cruel and terrible thing escape would be if escape were possible” ~ Octavia Butler
  33. “There is no end To what a living world Will demand of you.” ~ Octavia Butler
  34. “A tree Cannot grow In its parents’ shadows.” ~ Octavia Butler
  35. “Beware At war Or at peace, More people die Of unenlightened self-interest Than of any other disease” ~ Octavia Butler
  36. “There’s no narcotic-like exhaustion.” ~ Octavia Butler

  37. “Rejections are painful but inevitable. They’re every writer’s rite of passage.” ~ Octavia Butler
  38. “You are hierarchical. That’s the older and more entrenched characteristic. We saw it in your closest animal relatives and in your most distant ones. It’s a terrestrial characteristic. When human intelligence served it instead of guiding it, when human intelligence did not even acknowledge it as a problem, but took pride in it or did not notice it at all… That was like ignoring cancer.” ~ Octavia Butler
  39. “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.” ~ Octavia Butler, Octavia Butler quotes on habit
  40. “Civilization is the way one’s own people live. Savagery is the way foreigners live.” ~ Octavia Butler
  41. “Every story I create creates me. I write to create myself.” ~ Octavia Butler

  42. “Life is getting better, but that won’t stop a war if politicians and business people decide it’s to their advantage to have one.” ~ Octavia Butler
  43. “All religions are ultimately cargo cults. Adherents perform required rituals, follow specific rules, and expect to be supernaturally gifted with desired rewards long life, honor, wisdom, children, good health, wealth, victory over opponents, immortality after death, any desired rewards.” ~ Octavia Butler
  44. “To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool.” ~ Octavia Butler
  45. “…I can write my own stories and I can write myself in.” ~ Octavia Butler

  46. “When I meet a woman who attracts me, I prefer women,’ she said. ‘And when I meet a man who attracts me, I prefer men.’ ‘You mean you haven’t made up your mind yet.’ ‘I mean exactly what I said. I told you you wouldn’t like it. Most people who ask want me definitely on one side or the other.” ~ Octavia Butler
  47. “That which could hunger could starve.” ~ Octavia Butler
  48. “To get along with God, Consider the consequences of your behavior. Earthseed: The Books of the Living” ~ Octavia Butler
  49. “I think people really need to think what it’s like to have all of society arrayed against you.” ~ Octavia Butler
  50. “Humans said one thing with their bodies and another with their mouths and everyone had to spend time and energy figuring out what they really meant. And once you did understand them, the Humans got angry and acted as though you had stolen thoughts from their minds.” ~ Octavia Butler
  51. “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.” ~ Octavia Butler
  52. “We give our dead To the orchards And the groves. We give our dead To life.” ~ Octavia Butler

  53. “Listen, no part of me is more definitive of who I am than my brain.” ~ Octavia Butler
  54. “I have a huge and savage conscience that won’t let me get away with things.” ~ Octavia Butler
  55. “The destiny of Earthseed is to take root among the stars.” ~ Octavia Butler
  56. “Helpless lust and unreasoning anxiety were just part of growing up.” ~ Octavia Butler
  57. “Better to stay alive,” I said. “At least while there’s a chance to get free.” I thought of the sleeping pills in my bag and wondered just how great a hypocrite I was. It was so easy to advise other people to live with their pain.” ~ Octavia Butler
  58. “And I have this little litany of things they can do. And the first one, of course, is to write – every day, no excuses. It’s so easy to make excuses. Even professional writers have days when they’d rather clean the toilet than do the writing.” ~ Octavia Butler
  59. “Forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable.” ~ Octavia Butler

  60. “I’m trying to speak–to write-the truth. I”m trying to be clear. I’m not interested in being fancy, or even original. Clarity and truth will be plenty, if I can only achieve them.” ~ Octavia Butler
  61. “Not everyone has been a bully or the victim of bullies, but everyone has seen bullying, and seeing it, has responded to it by joining in or objecting, by laughing or keeping silent, by feeling disgusted or feeling interested.” ~ Octavia Butler
  62. “Most of what I do is science fiction. Some of the things I do are fantasy. I don’t like the labels, they’re marketing tools, and I certainly don’t worry about them when I’m writing. They are also inhibiting factors; you wind up not getting read by certain people, or not getting sold to certain people because they think they know what you write. You say science fiction and everybody thinks Star Wars or Star Trek.” ~ Octavia Butler
  63. “No… a novel is a long business. I’m a slow writer, even when I’m doing very well I write slowly.” ~ Octavia Butler
  64. “The only lasting truth is change. God is change.” ~ Octavia Butler
  65. “I wanted to write a novel that would make others feel the history: the pain and fear that black people have had to live through in order to endure.” ~ Octavia Butler

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