Wednesday, January 03, 2007

3330 So you want to be a writer

A snippet from a poem by Charles Bukowski (1920-1994), who published his first book of poetry when he was 39. To support his writing, I think he must have worked every job except library clerk.

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.

I think this applies to bloggers too, although he was writing about poetry. I've seen a lot of blogs with only 4 or 5 entries over months and years. Bukowski went on to write more than 45 books. I like to write; hate to publish.

Tomorrow I will start working on Poetry Thursday and won't do Thursday Thirteen for awhile. I'm about out of lists.


Randy Kirk said...

For me, the need to express myself through the written word is often like scratching an itch. Other times the need builds up almost like a prelude to a sneeze. If I don't feel either of those, I might still blog on some ongoing thread, but it isn't the same.

Anonymous said...

Synchronicity - I am about to teach a writing workshop and that Bukowski snippet says why write? better than I could. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I liked that very much, Norma. That's what writing is for me... at least I hope so.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that focus, Norma. I just started workshopping some of my poems, and I'm finding it difficult to keep my perspective within some of the comments. Bukowski didn't write to please everyone. I needed to hear that today, thanks!
Best wishes!

Anonymous said... brought back memories of my definate Bukowski years.He was many things...some of them the good kind of raw and real...Thanks for the flashback..and welcome to PT.

Anonymous said...

Some people don't like him or his writing, but man, I really like Bukowski.