So You Want To Be A Writer

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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.

by Charles Bukowski



Author: Ofili

Words by Okechukwu Ofili of
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22 comments on “So You Want To Be A Writer

  1. I think this article to so many other things, don’t force it. School included I hope.:D. That said, I suppose fiction isn’t my thing.

    • I think this article can be applied to other things, the “don’t force it” message.* sorry, typos in d previous comment.

  2. Lol at the Library yawning…I think everyone that writes should spend more time finding their own unique voice than spending time trying to sound like another author who is just being himself. I tried that and it just never worked for me.

  3. Afam Evans on said:

    Men am a witness Dude,tried it and it didnt work so i gave it up.But i still crave and pray for the insight and inspiration to write.Thumbs up Gee because you re really the game and we pray to be like you,sory better than you

  4. A big of Charlse Bukowski’s poem…. I really love this piece…… Thank God we crazy people are not alone…… “There is no other way and there never was”. Don’t force it!

  5. This is kul,while readin so many thought cme to mind,abt rewriting,somtimes U̶̲̥̅̊ want to rewrite tryin to make it perfect but along d line we miss d road,we change d topic we change d inspirations

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