On Octavia Butler... and her writing advice that inspired me


I was introduced to the literal LITERARY ICON back in college. I took a women’s lit class which was taught by a man interestingly enough. Among the required readings, which I totally credit my professor for introducing to us, was Butler’s Kindred and Bloodchild and other short stories.

As a reader, I found her stories incredibly compelling and entertaining. Her way of wrapping you into the worlds she crafts was nothing short of brilliance.

As a writer, I was equal parts intimidated and inspired. How could I ever come up with such a story? My imagination could never!

In the years since reading those two books, I also read Seed to Harvest, her four-part series following Doro and Anyanwu. That series blew me away. Butler so expertly ties science fiction with history. Anyanwu’s powers are something I, myself, wished I possessed.

Anyway, this year I vowed to read more and write and finish a short story. (My story is turning to be longer than that so we shall see where it ends up!)

Recently, it must’ve been kismet, the universe showed me this tweet.

And I was inspired again.

I searched her writing advice and found this article.

I had never before even thought to look up Butler’s advice. In the article, she says not to worry about imagination or inspiration but to write every day and make it a habit.

Imagine that! Butler, whose imagination built the worlds of Doro and Dana and Lauren and Anyanwu, said not to worry about imagination.

Also the same article that talked about Butler included this image:


Which, if you’re a part-time witch like me, is so obviously a manifestation mantra or something like that. She put that in writing and put that into the universe! A modern witch after my own heart.

I could rave about Butler all day, but if I am to be a fraction of the writer that she is, I’ve got to go. I’ve got some reading and writing and habits to build.

So be it. See to it!

(Also, a side note, if that’s her actual handwriting, you can see from her Ts that she has strong follow through. This is the T of a woman who sets her mind to something and sees it to fruition! Iconic!)

This post contains affiliate links, friends! That means if you click and order, I may make a small commish. My opinions above are truly, 100% how I feel. I wasn’t paid by Octavia Butler’s estate to write any of this I just literally love her.