so you want to be a writer? by Charles Bukowski

by

so you want to be a writer?

 

so you want to be a writer?
by Charles Bukowski


if it doesn’t come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don’t do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
typewriter
searching for words,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it for money or
fame,
don’t do it.
if you’re doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don’t do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don’t do it.
if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,
don’t do it.
if you’re trying to write like somebody
else,
forget about it.

typewriter-498204_1280

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
you,
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

coffee-569178_640

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you’re not ready.

spitzer-521939_640don’t be like so many writers,
don’t be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don’t be dull and boring and
pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-
love.
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
sleep
over your kind.
don’t add to that.
don’t do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don’t do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don’t do it.

tea-381235_640when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

fountain-390788_640
there is no other way.

manuscript-203465_640
and there never was.

 

 

*****

Sharing one of my all-time favorite poems. All images from Pixabay. Do YOU want to be a writer?

4 Comments on so you want to be a writer? by Charles Bukowski

  1. Cham Cuartero
    April 17, 2015 at 5:51 pm (4 years ago)

    when it is truly time,
    and if you have been chosen,
    it will do it by
    itself and it will keep on doing it
    until you die or it dies in you.

    … Kinda hit me like a brick… :(

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 21, 2015 at 2:46 pm (4 years ago)

      How’s everything, Cham? *hugs*

      Reply
  2. Eds
    April 19, 2015 at 10:21 am (4 years ago)

    Beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Toni
      April 21, 2015 at 2:47 pm (4 years ago)

      You are very welcome, Eds!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *






CommentLuv badge