Comes Out of My Soul Like a Rocket

And now, an excerpt from a famous poem by Charles Bukowski entitled “So You Want To Be A Writer.”

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


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.

I think of this poem every time I sit down to write and nothing comes out. If I have to force it, it’s not worth writing; the best stuff comes effortlessly because it’s born of necessity. Today, on this first day of May, 2013, there’s only one thing I must – because it “comes out of my soul like a rocket” – say, and that is this:

Today my baby turns one.

There is nothing more awesome.

And there never was.


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