An Unforgettable Encounter with Paulo Coelho

I don’t know how and when my love affair for Paulo Coelho’s writing began. I am sure though that the first book that I read was By The River Piedra and not The Alchemist. And then, I read The Alchemist. And for some reason, I lost the book. And then I read Veronika. And then The Zahir. I haven’t stopped reading (and re-reading) his novels ever since. I lost track of how many Coelho books I lost because I keep on loaning it to someone, promising that it is a good read. Some of them were never returned to me (because of course, it is indeed a good read and they forgot to return it) so I keep on replenishing so I have the complete set! Yes, this is how my love affair for Coelho’s books is.

I don’t know why I love his writing so much. In his videocast, he said that he is an experiential writer. He needs to experience things before he can write. Maybe I could relate to that.

I always believed that my love for writing has sprouted from my love of books. As time passed by, somehow the patterns interchange. There are times that I am inspired to write because I have read something. There are also times that I need to read because I want to write.

Ever since I quit corporate life, I have become more attuned to my creative wind. My writing is very personal, most of the times and I know that a lot of people would stop in the middle of the blog and say, I don’t care. I do not have credibility when it comes to food reviews because I have a black and white palate – it’s either good or not. I can’t do ratings. How do you qualify a 4 out of 5? I have a very unsophisticated taste buds. I would love to have a travel blog but I seldom go out especially with my condition now so…

And so, I realized that I can’t be a better version of someone else. As I said, I relate with Paulo’s writing style: something experiential. Something raw, full of emotions. Something honest and is a journey to self-discovery. My blog can’t be a version of someone else’s. I really didn’t care about statistics or page ranks. Or monetizing this blog. What I write here is just plain old me. What I go through every day. How I have given up corporate for the want of a baby. How I read to pass time. How I share my marketing knowledge to people who are interested at times. Those things that are essentially me. Nothing forced.

Which brings me to this — something that I consider as a defining moment in my life. In my previous post, I was talking about wanting to have some inspiration and stumbling upon Paulo Coelho’s videocasts. And I wrote about it because it mattered to me. I wrote about it because he lifted me from my creative drought like he always does. And I tweeted him saying that he is my hero. Which is really true. (To validate that, you can search Coelho at the Search bar and find that a lot of my posts start with quotes by him).

And then this —

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho re-posted my blog in his Twitter and Facebook pages. That is simply unbelievable (but incredibly amazing, too!)

When your personal hero does this, how would you feel? What would you do? For guys, this is like Michael Jordan answering your tweet. (this could be a lame analogy, but…)

And so I love him even more.

I wanted to capture this moment in my blog because as I mentioned before, I have a really lame memory. Somewhere down the road, when things go rough, I could go back to this day and I know deep in my heart, it would lift me out of a pit.

And of course, this is my takeaway as again quoting Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist

“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”

My heart is in writing. I wrote ever since I was a kid but there were many times that I put it at the back-burner. And at this point in my life when I have almost nothing, my writing gives me my treasure. They pay me to write for blogs and social media. I was able to have a personal connection with my hero because of it. And while I thought that the only things that could give me happiness were a high-paying job and an uber-successful career – I was wrong! Because nothing beats the gratitude I have for experiencing these things given to me by the Divine at this point in my life.


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