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 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 it is. The quintisential essence of what makes a city. The towering giants that cast their golden glows on the indulgent seekers below. The night is recovering from a damp day, the clouds and mist leaving their trail as they part for the evening, making way for what is sure to be a brighter prospect of tomorrow.
But for now, this is what I’ve been dreaming of. Mist or no mist, puddles on the ground, and the taste of sake on my breath. Ah, city life. What I’ve been missing these 3 years past. There is something to be said for practicality, but the rewards for risks and chances seem to taste so much sweeter.
This night is divine. The ambiance of good company, sinful food and pleasant smiles in the midst of so much company is glorious. Well, one company in particular really. He is my happiness.
I know it’s never supposed to be that way. You are supposed to make your own happiness, someone else shouldn’t define it for you. But there is something indisputable in those moments when another seems to satisfy every need. Laughs, smiles, comfort, confidence. Doubtless happiness. It truly is wonderful.
It was worth it. It was all worth. As I explore and learn more, about the city and myself, I welcome all that is to come with excitement and virility, passion and poetry, all that I am.
The lights shine for me tonight.
“So dawn goes down to day, nothing gold can stay.”
Lately I’ve been reflecting on the past. I don’t know why and I don’t know why these flashbacks are coming back to me now. I’ve been looking at pictures of myself, realizing how much my friends have changed, how much my hair has changed, how quickly time has gone by
Why is it so difficult to be happy with where we are now? Are we always looking for the next best thing? What happens when you do reach goals for yourself… what happens next? Fairy tales always end with happily ever after but it seems that no one ever explains how to achieve that happily ever after. We don’t ever seem to witness it because no one ever feels like they are at that point.
What if I had said yes to my 6th grade crush instead of running away scared as fast as I could. I saw him on TV the other day. He is now a successful actor. Just seeing him again was able to make me feel like I was back in 6th grade again. Longing for that innocence and naivety about the world.
The fact is, the life you had 10 years ago, 5 years ago, even yesterday, is not your life anymore. You are not the same person now you were even an hour ago. That hour has given you experiences and thoughts that have changed your perspective. The point is to move forward, not hold back. So although who we were yesterday makes us who we are today, we are undeniably different.
The comfort or haunting of nostalgic thoughts will always be there for us, yet our dependence or dwelling on what was is unavailing.
To Stand Alone in the Beauty of the Moment…
There’s something ironic about confidence. It seems the more you respect someone for theirs, the less of your own you realize you have. For example, these blogs.
I’ve always respected people for being able to put their feelings out there, share what was in their heart and their true feelings. Whether or not I agree with their point of view or not, I have respect for them and their convictions. That is where I feel I am lacking, in convictions. My mind is a natural nomad, moving from subject to subject, opinion to opinion. There is definitely an absence of absolutes. It would be nice, for once, to know that I had confidence in a feeling or opinion no matter the consequences. Not to constantly question and to only live in the moment is a skill I’ve yet to achieve.
It’s true that in order to gain anything in life you must take risks. Sure, you could live a relatively complacent life, going through the motions, nothing bad, nothing good, and just be. But how much of the essence and goal of life is missed? Without experiences who are you really but someone with no experiences?
I need to be willing to put myself out there more. Be available for more experiences, happiness, and even, criticisms. For in a way, a suppose criticism would actually be a compliment, because it would validate your confidence and ability to take action with the recognization that you had something to say and someone to be.
“It’s an unsteady journey through places unknown…”
It seems that we only understand things as we come to the end of them. In a book or story, the plot only seems to come together at the end. In relationships, we only realize why it didn’t work once they’re over. And even with work, sometimes you don’t even realize what direction a project is headed in until your closer to its completion. It seems that the oldadage of “Hindsight is 20/20” proves true. Clarity and understanding come with time and patience.
I’ve been quarreling with myself lately over what it is I’m meant to do. What my purpose for this life is, what role I’m meant to play. I want to make myself proud but I also want to make God proud. I want to be doing the work and living the life he has determined for me. I worry that I might not be living up to all these expectations. What if I’m wasting my time not fulfilling my “purpose”?
Then it hit me. How can we be expected to fulfill our purpose if we’re not likely to realize it until the end? I imagine that once one reaches the end of their life, things become clear. Why decisions were made, why certain obsticals appeared and how they helped us grow, why we did not get what we that we so desperately wanted. Toward the end, their is understanding of your life’s purpose.
We are taught to work towards goals our whole lives. That’s what keeps us going. The hope that our hard work and effort will lead to what we want. But each attained goal leads to a new goal, leading to new hope. So it seems ludicrous to create ONE goal/purpose to your life. What happens when you reach your goal. What is the purpose of the rest of your life? The woman who dreams her purpose in life is to get married and have children; what happens when those children are grown and gone. Is her life over at that moment because she has fulfilled her purpose in life?
No, I’ve decided to give up my search for my purpose in this life. I’m believing that the more I concentrate on living my life, knowing I have everything I need with me always, and enjoying each chapter of my life, that my purpose will reveal itself to me in the end, and it will be worth the wait.
“Humility is the mother of giants. One sees great things from the valley; only small things from the peak.” — G. K. Chesterton
One of the most important things I’ve learned this week is I’m not so special, I’m not so different, and I may not be destined for great things. I am simply, me.
I grew up always feeling out of place, wondering what my purpose was, what I was meant to do with my life. I was never happy with where I was at the present moment. I was always using my time to think about the next step, the next move. Unfortunately this type of thinking caused the opposite reaction, nothing in my present life took on any significance.
We all struggle with the same battles, same emotions and same trials, in one fashion or another. We all will face situations that will make us laugh, make us cry, make us think and make us numb, from the homeless man on the corner to the richest man in the world.
We are not so different. We are not so special. We are who we are and appreciating that brings more significance than any achievement ever could.