GO ALL THE WAY

GO ALL THE WAY

You say that starving doens’t create art,
that it creates many things but mainly it creates time.
Oh yeah, well that’s very basic
But you know,
if you work an eight-hour job you want to get 55 cents an hour
you’re going to get it.
If you stay home, you’re not going to get any money
but you’re goint to have time to write things down on paper.
I guess I was one of those rarities of our modern times
who did starve for his art.
I really starved; you know…
to have
a twenty-four -hour day unintruded upon by other people.
I gave up food, I gave up everything just to…
I was a nut, I was dedicated.
But you see,
the problem is
you can be a dedicated nut and not be able to do it.
Dedication without talent is useless.
Dedication alone is not enough,
you can starve and want to do it.
And how many do that?
They starve in the gutters and they don’t make it.
But you knew you had talent.
They all think they have.
How do you know that you’re the one?
You don’t know.
It’s shot in the dark, you take it
or you become a normal, civilized person from eight to five.
If you’re going to try, go all the way.
Otherwise, don’t even start.
If you’re going to try, go all the way.
This could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives,
jobs and maybe even your mind.
Go all the way.
It could mean not eating for three or four days.
It Could mean freezing on a park bench.
It could mean derision,
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.

Charles Bukowski