Monday, June 27, 2005

For My Writing Group...

He got home late last night Posted by Hello
after completing his first 3 full days of "staff training" at camp.
"You've got to take me to Chapter's after church tomorrow," he says with a sense of urgency in his voice.
"I've got to get some books."

Mistakenly, I assumed he'd be picking up some software manuals for the video editing programs he'd be using this summer.
"I need some poetry and philosophy books. The guys all talk about CS Lewis's work, and I only know the Narnia stuff. I've got alot of reading to do. I've been doing alot of BSing... I don't think I can fake it much longer. I've gotta know this stuff."

He spent $85. on books. And started reading them in the truck on the way back up to camp.

"Here's a good poem," he says.
"Let's see," Max says as he grabs the book. "Which one?"
"The first one... So you Want to be a Writer."
"Read it out loud," I say to Max.
Max starts to read it, but is interupted as Clint yells, "No. Some things are just better when read. She can read it later."

He was right. It is good.
But he's also wrong. I think it would be just as effective if it was read out loud...

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

there is no other way.

and there never was.


JSY said...

Divine. Simply divine. Thank you.

JSY said...

Okay, it is totally out of character for me to only say five words on a posting. So I had to add some more words. I just copied and pasted and now I am printing this poem to hang next to the "Happiness" engraved tile thingie you sent me...such a source of inspiration. Did you see that your counter is at 11,735? SHEESH! How did you DO that?? Thanks again for the amazing poem. And GO, CLINT, GO! I can't wait to hear all of the great stories coming from camp. And remind me to get you a copy of that Power Director program, would ya?

BeagleBloggin said...

This is such an interesting photo! It is a picture taking,a picture!