if you write dull shit, it doesn’t matter what you die from”

August 8, 2019

Charles Bukowski said in an old interview, “If you write dull shit, it doesn’t matter what you die from.” He said something about how there’s glorious ways to die—I think alcohol was one of them. But dying a martyr for your art doesn’t mean anything if what you created was shitty. 

More than book sales and fame, if you write dull shit, you’ll always know it. Even if you start to sell lots of poetry books and get invited to speak and read at this or that event, if you write dull shit, you’re the one who knows it best. You’ll know you faked your way through life and never said the things you really wanted to say. That’s a special sort of hell.

Solution? Don’t write dull shit.