Don’t try

I wanted to write this post a number of weeks ago originally I wanted to name the post “strike when the iron is hot”. I found myself wanting to push out content on this blog regardless about the quality.

More consistent content is good for analytics, it is one thing that I use when promoting content on social media platforms, why have one post with 500 reach and engagement when I can push out three or four posts with smaller reach and less interaction individually but overall there would be an increase as per the analytics.

I wanted to write in “strike when the iron is hot” and discuss how there are some things you can’t force in terms of writing, I see people posting their writing routines, or how they do particular things to force themselves to write. Things I have tried and just didn’t work for me, this left me thinking I was a failure at writing, or at the least a failure at attempting to write.

That was until I stumbled across Charles Bukowski’s poem posthumously released in 2003, So You Want to Be a Writer?

I will leave that poem here make of it what you will:

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 you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.


Don’t Try

Categories: Thoughts on my life

Tags: , , , ,

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