Air and light and time and space
By Charles Bukowski
“-you know, I’ve either had a family, a job, something
has always been in the
I’ve sold my house, I’ve found this
place, a large studio, you should see the space and
For the first time in my life I’m going to have a place and the time to
No baby, if you’re going to create
you’re going to create whether you work
16 hours a day in a coal mine
you’re going to create in a small room with 3 children
while you’re on
you’re going to create with part of your mind and your
you’re going to create blind
you’re going to create with a cat crawling up your
the whole city trembles in earthquake, bombardment,
flood and fire.
Baby, air and light and time and space
have nothing to do with it
and don’t create anything
except maybe a longer life to find
End poem. Start blog.
Oh, my God, but the distractions have become unbearable.
I have the cat crawling up my back, if the cat is credit card debt.
I have the earthquake, bombardment, flood and fire as represented by the imminent foreclosure of my home, underwater by leagues. As great a disaster as any of the above for it involves the dislocation of family, pets and material goods to god-knows-where with god-knows-what money to pay first-last-deposit and no savings from which to pull and no credit on which to borrow.
Oh, my God, but there are distractions.
Pressures and expectations seeping up from the cracked earth beneath my feet, requiring that I play so many parts so very well: stable daytime sales executive, relentlessly focused debut novelist working book two on deadline (nights and weekends, of course), dependable provider for family of four (oh, but the bills are such distractions!), loving, available, husband and father.
I’ve written through pressure before, but the stakes have never been this high.
Now, on command, create.
You have (fill in the blank) hours today to create. Create well. Do not be distracted by the lawsuit behind the curtain. Sit. Focus. Create. Do not be distracted by the flickering of lights and the rattling of pans.
in the world of the story.
That’s all that concerns you.
What is the character thinking? What does he do next?
Do not listen to the strange sound that squeaks from inside your car. It should disappear in time.
Do not listen to the voice of your boss who calls you distracted.
Do not listen to the strange sound that squeaks from inside your chest. It should disappear in time.
You are a writer and you will create.
I used to think that I loved writing and now I’m not sure.
One thing I do know, for sure: I love having written.