Charles Bukowski, why the hell am I doing this?

As a writer, saying this guy is one of my heroes is as cliche as it gets. But his hard work, his determination, his persistence at being a writer is inspiration enough to keep me working. Many times, I wonder why the hell I still pursue such a ridiculous idea like being a writer. I’ve accomplished everything I’ve ever set out to do. But being a  published author…let me rephrase that. Being an author whose writing can pay the bills, because that’s ultimately what we really want. To be able to get paid to write. And paid enough where we don’t have to do anything else but read and write. But mostly read. Right? Achieving that goal, though, seems nearly impossible. And the older I get the more it hurts that it hasn’t happened yet. But when I read Bukowski, I’m okay for a little while longer. I know damn well there are other reasons I write. It’s obviously not for the money because I’ve never made a dime from it. But I do it. I do it daily. And one day, I sure as hell hope it pays off. In the meantime, this one is for you ol’ Hank.

c.1981, photo by Mark Hanauer
c.1981, photo by Mark Hanauer

If a man truly desires to write, then he will. Rejection and ridicule will only strengthen him. And the longer he is held back the stronger he will become, like a mass of rising water against a dam. There is no losing in writing, it will make your toes laugh as you sleep, it will make you stride like a tiger, it will fire the eye and put you face to face with death. You will die a fighter, you will be honored in hell. The luck of the word. Go with it, send it.

– Charles Bukowski

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