Charles Bukowski

(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994 / Andernach)

So You Want To Be A Writer - Poem 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
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
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
forget about it.
if you have to wait for it to roar out of
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-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
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.

Topic(s) of this poem: poetry

Comments about So You Want To Be A Writer by Charles Bukowski

  • (12/28/2016 9:20:00 PM)

    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
    (Report) Reply

    7 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Tapan M. Saren (5/17/2016 10:45:00 AM)

    Yep! I like this. Better writing (Report) Reply

  • (11/23/2015 4:47:00 PM)

    Wow. Well said dude. That was truly touching. (Report) Reply

  • Souren Mondal (9/27/2015 9:17:00 AM)

    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... (Report) Reply

    Pen Anthony (12/18/2016 9:51:00 PM)

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

    Jasmin Chuica (12/13/2016 11:24:00 AM)

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

  • Mia Noir (8/5/2015 12:13:00 AM)

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

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 23, 2015

Poem Edited: Monday, March 23, 2015

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