Words from a wise guy

May 24th, 2010 by Glendyn

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.

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.

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.

don'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.

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.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

by Charles Bukowski

via Ted Hope via Poets.org

4 Responses to “Words from a wise guy”

  1. Nick Says:

    i want women in my bed.

  2. Glendyn Says:

    I dont think writing is going to get them there. Bukowski would know for sure!

  3. Tristan Says:

    Wise words indeed. If there’s no fire in your belly, how’s it going to ignite anyone else’s?

  4. Chris Hobart Says:

    Those words there must have burst out of him, and now they’re stuck all over me, as I sit in front of my weathered page and try scrawl again some words that make sense of what my little boys do for me.
    There’s no madness in this love but a delicate balance of pain and unimaginable joy,
    and it seems no dreary retold line will do.

Leave a Reply