Read Octavia E. Butler’s Inspiring Message to Herself

Octavia E. Butler was one of the great science fiction writers of the 20th century, writing bestselling and award-winning novels over several decades and becoming the first science fiction writer to receive a MacArthur “Genius” Grant. And apparently she knew it would happen!

The Huntington Library recently published some notes from Butler’s private journals. One telling entry is this inspirational note Butler wrote to herself in 1988 declaring that she will go on to be a “bestselling writer” who will be read by millions and inspire “poor black youngsters to broaden their horizons.”

Check out the note and get inspired yourself:

Octavia Butler

I shall be a bestselling writer. After Imago, each of my books will be on the bestseller lists of LAT, NYT, PW, WP, etc. My novels will go onto the above lists whether publishers push them hard or not, whether I’m paid a high advance or not, whether I ever win another award or not.

This is my life. I write bestselling novels. My novels go onto the bestseller lists on or shortly after publication. My novels each travel up to the top of the bestseller lists and they reach the top and they stay on top for months . Each of my novels does this.

So be it! I will find the way to do this. See to it! So be it! See to it!

My books will be read by millions of people!

I will buy a beautiful home in an excellent neighborhood

I will send poor black youngsters to Clarion or other writer’s workshops

I will help poor black youngsters broaden their horizons

I will help poor black youngsters go to college

I will get the best of health care for my mother and myself

I will hire a car whenever I want or need to.

I will travel whenever and wherever in the world that I choose

My books will be read by millions of people!

So be it! See to it!

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