Last week the acclaimed writer was named the groundbreaker honouree at the 2015 Girls Write Now Awards in New York City, for obvious reasons.

During her speech, Adichie spoke less about her stellar accomplishments and more about why young girls and women shouldn’t care about being liked when trying to pave their paths as writers and storytellers.

“Forget about likability,” the 37-year-old exclaimed. “I think that what our society teaches young girls — and I think that it’s something that’s quite difficult for even older women, self-confessed feminists, to shrug off — is this idea that likeability is an essential part of the space you occupy in the world. That you’re supposed to twist yourself into shapes to make yourself likeable. That you’re supposed to kind of hold back sometimes, pull back. Don’t quite say, don’t be too pushy … because you have to be likeable. And I say that is bullshit.”

Then we were like:  

Photo: Giphy
Photo: Tumblr

So to all of our aspiring female writers out there: do you, boo boo. Forget about being liked. Forget about the haters and the negative criticism. Instead, focus on your story. Focus on the unique magic you bring to paper, and the fact that while yes, there are many writers out there, no one will ever be able to tell stories the way you do if you commit to staying true to yourself.

Watch Adichie’s full speech below.

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