Charles Bukowski on Writing

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.

~ Charles Bukowski

Jim Harrison on Writing and Money

“I averaged twelve grand a year for ten years, and then I got a little more, up to thirty-five grand,” Harrison said.

~ Conversations with Jim Harrison

Frank Stella on the Art World

McCARTNEY: That seems like a big difference from the art world now. What do you think of the art world?

STELLA: Fortunately, I don’t see that much of it.

~ Frank Stella / Interview

Ed Ruscha on Money

I never expected to sell my art. It wasn’t like today where you come out of art school and they promise you a future. Now it’s almost regulated in a way. When we came out of school, we just wanted to make art that’d blow your hair back and do it for sport.

~ Ed Ruscha / Interview

Tom Sachs on Work

Can you imagine getting paid really, really well to do something that you didn’t love to do? What a horrible curse that would be.

~ Tom Sachs / Louisiana Channel

Stephen King on Money

The money isn’t very important. The idea is to take care of your family and have enough left over to buy books and go to the movies once a week. As a goal in life, ‘getting rich’ strikes me as fairly ludicrous. The goal is to do what God made you for and not hurt anyone if you can help it.

~ Stephen King / NYT, August 13, 2000

Michael Mosley on Money

What is the most important lesson you’ve learnt about money?
That you need to adapt your lifestyle to your income — and to remember that it really doesn’t make that much difference so long as you can afford the basics.

~ Michael Mosley / Times, 29th March 2020

Albert Camus on Poverty

“What could a man want that is better than poverty? I do not say misery, any more than I mean the work without hope of the modern proletarian. But I do not see that one could desire more than poverty with an active leisure.”

~ Albert Camus

Hunter Thompson on Mediocrity

Only those who can see above and beyond the American goal of respectable mediocrity can enjoy a life that leads to anything but a struggle to attain that end.

~Hunter Thompson


J.K. Galbraith on Money

For any sensible person, money is two things: a major liberating force and a great convenience. It’s devastating to those who have in mind nothing else.

~ J.K. Galbraith

David Hockney on Money

I’ve always had enough money to do what I want to do, for the last 55 years, even when I didn’t have much. And that’s all I’m interested in.

~ David Hockney

Cicero on Thrift

“Cannot people realise how large an income is thrift?”

~ Cicero

Colin Beavan on Convenience

“My whole life seemed to have turned into a moneymaking machine intended to buy more convenience…”

~ Colin Beavan / No Impact Man