What I Feel About Bukowski’s ‘So You Want to Be a Writer?’

It’s my habit now, when I come from office and set my bedding in the room which is not my own, a house which used to be home once, first thing I do is open my laptop and check e-mails.

I know, it sounds too professional but that’s how it is. Day before yesterday, I stumbled upon this video, How to be creative: How an Artist turns Pro, while in office.

And it was from this video that I learnt that the great, controversial, a tippler and famous writer, Charles Bukowski once wrote a poem on writing titled, ‘So you want to be a writer?’

The video began with this poem. After that the presenter showed why he disagrees with Bukowski. In some measures even I do but I shall restrict my thoughts here and present to you the poem first. 

So you want to be a writer?

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 or 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.

There are many things which I can infer from this and one of them which comes out strongly from it is that, ‘If you don’t have it in you, you can’t do it.’ 
Precisely, this point.
And I can not do anything but disagree with this prophecy. And I’ve a few examples to support my disagreement, presented below:

You’re not born adult,
you learn from your childhood and
develop yourself.

You never knew beforehand 
how to talk,
you observed, you blabbered and one day,
you are speaking like a pro!

I believe writing, in the same manner, as a skill can be honed. It comes out more strongly and organically as you practice it. 
I do not understand why we have to romanticize with the idea of a born-writer. Or for that matter, a born-artist. Everyone is born the same way as any other one being. The only difference which makes them look different, walk different and achieve different is the way they pursue things.

Our excitement to pursue something,our perseverance and our dedication to do somethingmakes us different.


It’s the constant endeavor to pursue writing relentlessly by Bukowski which made him who was or how he is celebrated today. Also the way we know him, today.

Simply put, it’s a call which you have to take. Nothing exist which cannot be achieved. 

If you think it’s not in you but you want to do itthen do it.


If you think that people will laugh at youbut you want to do it otherwise and pursue it relentlessly no matter whatthen do it.


Stop for no external validation but yours. If you believe in something and you want to make it happen,then do it.




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