If You’re Going To Try, Go All The Way, By Charles Bukowski


More Bukowski today. I never seem to get tired of his writing.

I recently watched the film adaptation of Factotum (the one with Matt Dillon), and the closing lines hit me hard (the character is in a strip club in that scene, so obligatory nudity warning on that link).

If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.

Or if you enjoyed the last Bukowski post with Tom O’Bedlam reading ‘So, You Want To Be A Writer?’ then here’s a link to another profound reading by him of this one.

© 2015, Gavin Zanker. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Photo by Jim Barker licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

2 thoughts on “If You’re Going To Try, Go All The Way, By Charles Bukowski”

  1. Yep, I’d agree with him when it comes to the writing. It’s the bloody promotion that’s a pain in the ass. I’ve this horrible feeling most of it is a waste of time — I never resent time ‘used’ on writing, but all the other stuff seems to me not much more than a bunch of noise (I’m talking social media here). Ha — I come on your blog and have a whine. Ironic, as I’m a very positive person — but I hate the desperation I see with regards to writers trying to flog their work. I’m sure it’s always been this way — or worse — just that I’m pretty sure there’s a ton of bad advice flying around.

    1. Yeah I hate spending time on promotion when I could be improving my writing. I avoid social media as much as I can. I think the key is to set up your own website and work from there. That way no matter if the various social media sites (facebook, twitter etc) change their terms or go under, you’ll always have that solid base that you built yourself. Buying the building rather than renting it, would be the analogy I suppose.

      Anyway, don’t worry about whining – I feel the same way. Cheers for the comment.

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