To be fair, Octavia E. Butler’s works can easily pass off as a reader’s go-to if they’re looking for a simplified experience learning about or exploring the sci-fi genre. Her quotes are gripping as they are courageous. There’s everything to gain and nothing to lose reading her books. Without further ado, some of her most important quotes will be analyzed here.
Careful and Watch What You Become
I’m a pessimist if I’m not careful, a feminist, a Black,…an oil-and-water combination of ambition, laziness, insecurity, certainty, and drive.
Octavia E. Butler believes that every human being is unique and has the ability to become the best version of themselves. This ability unites and goes beyond skin color, ethnicity, and geography. With this quote, she uses herself as a good example to state that she could become any number of things provided she lets herself become such a thing. Good. Bad. Anything in between doesn’t matter.
The vital lesson she drops here for her followers is the need for one to become very conscious of themselves and in the things that they do and what they are becoming as a result of doing such things. A good person can turn bad tomorrow. A xenophilic person can become xenophobic in a matter of moments, so to her, it’s best always to keep oneself in check and conscious of the things that unite and put humanity first.
Religion Should Be a Platform for Unity
Religion is everywhere. There are no human societies without it, whether they acknowledge it as a religion or not.
Religion is – and had always been – a strong force and platform for pooling people together. It is a general human characteristic to want answers to difficult phenomena and support for when hard times come. For these reasons, people choose to unite with each other if their beliefs are similar or the same.
For Octavia E. Butler, religion is a human ritual that will always live on with every generation – including the ones to come, but the writer also thought that the culture hasn’t really been utilized in its full potential due to the many dissensions coming as a result of religious diversities. Butler thought such a social instrument should have been more uniting rather than posing as one more reason for division.
Good Habit is Better than Talent
If you don’t have it, it doesn’t matter. As habit is more dependable than inspiration, continued learning is more dependable than talent.
Being a natural at something is great, and Octavia E. Butler believed that too. However, what she argued was even greater is being consistent or habitual about one’s industry or interest. This is how ordinary people become extraordinary; how a mere book stacker at a books warehouse can manage to become an acclaimed author in the future. With this, Butler leaves a clear message; you don’t have to have the talent. Just be consistent, intentional, and habitual about it.
You Too Can Be a Best-selling Author
All I do is observe and take notes, trying to put things down in ways that are as powerful, as simple, and as direct as I feel them.
This quote is a piece of advice for up-and-coming writers who think that one has to be born with the ability to write in other to craft a bestseller or become a popular writer. Octavia E. Butler upholds a contrary view, and with this quote, she talks about how even she, an important writer, had to start somewhere by writing every day, putting things down, little things that mattered to her, day after day, every day. It’s a process that one cultivates, not necessarily born with.
What kinds of subjects did Octavia E. Butler write about?
Butler was inspired by science fiction, and according to her, the genre changed her life. Her books are mostly science fiction – especially as they relate to race, society, the universe, and government.
Was Octavia E. Butler ever married or had children?
Butler never really got married, nor did she have children by the time she passed away. She always described her life as that of a happy recluse and spent most of her time writing.
What writing advice did Octavia E. Butler leave for young writers?
Butler’s advice for young writers coming up is simply to write about little things that interest them, do so every day, and be intentional about it.