career advice from Mr. Bukowski

Charles Bukowski is the master of laying it all out. Here, he talks of writing. But you can easily apply this advice to just about anything. Music. Acting. Painting. Accounting. Anything.

so you want to be a writer?

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 so 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.

bukowski010

 

9 thoughts on “career advice from Mr. Bukowski

  1. Pop: Wish I’d had this advice when I was in high school.Digital: A great poet? Okay. I agree.Daisy: This is the type of life lesson that crosses the generation divide.Annie: I think he means that “writers” don’t have to force the issue the way civilians have to.AFM: There’s plenty where this came from. Time for a second look at Bukowski?

Vent Central:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s