So You Want To Be A Writer Poem by Charles Bukowski

So You Want To Be A Writer

Rating: 4.7


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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Souren Mondal 27 September 2015

The more I read I read this man, the more I feel amused, stupefied, and a hint of crazy.. This man was a sheer genius...

6 1 Reply
Jasmin Chuica 13 December 2016

Honestly, Same. You never expect what comes in his poetry.

0 0
Pen Anthony 18 December 2016

9th poem in and I'm thinking buk was a genius

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Mia Noir 05 August 2015

This is by far one of my favorite poems.His passion just bleeds through these words.

6 1 Reply
Jasmine Black 23 November 2015

Wow. Well said dude. That was truly touching.

5 1 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 07 March 2020

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.. it is easy to say all these. but when you write it is not easy. sometimes even painful. tony

0 0 Reply
Michael Walker 28 October 2019

Some sound advice for a would-be writer. There are certain signs that the person lacks talent to be a writer: having to revise again and again, sitting at the computer without writing much, trying to imitate another writer, or wanting to make money or be famous. These signs are fair enough and could save someone endless hours of trouble and disappointment. He thinks that the words have to come out spontaneously. effortlessly for a true writer.

0 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 08 March 2019

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... very good ideas. tony

1 0 Reply
Joline Melanson 28 December 2016

I am, but I have no pen. I will, but I am not ready yet. I like them in my head. When I am no longer selfish, I will write. I have nothing to prove. Until then, I will read. Thank you

12 0 Reply
Tapan M. Saren 17 May 2016

Yep! I like this. Better writing

2 0 Reply
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