Saturday, August 26, 2006

So you want to be a writer...

Back to the theatre for a repeat viewing of M's play (we're doing it in shifts). Seemed a lot punchier the second time around, I thought pacier too but apparently it ran longer than the previous show, and the crowd was another good one.
Funny having a couple of plays on. Suddenly, everyone's coming up demanding to know "how?" or telling you they're writing a play. Or, just as annoying, "you should write a play about my hilarious life." The people who keep telling us they're writing a play should get together with the people that have hilarious lives and lock themselves away together. For as long as it takes. Which could be a long, long time.
This is why I write...

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
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.

Watching: Goodfellas / Manhattan


pik said...

The pachinko lights are flashing real bright and stroby and I'm way drunk on chu-hi but don't you think this is one of the most hypocritical 'poems' Bukowski wrote. I mean, shit, he copied everyone he ever read - and he quit writing for ten years. Or does that bolster his words? Fuck, I don't know. Anyway, hello.

pik said...

Also, I just noticed, you're watching a Scorcese movie and a Woody Allen film AT THE SAME TIME! You're definitely going to go crazy.

Dave W said...

He's totally flawed, you're right. But I like this one. Really like it. So I've decided to ignore Buk's problems. You, young man, should update your blog. What the hell are you up to when you're not drunk and messing with ball bearings?

bazza27 said...

Never heard of the geezer, but his words make a lot of sense to me.