Brazilian author Paulo Coelho is one of the most popular authors who has also worked as a theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. He wrote the The Alchemist, which became a top literary phenomena of the 20th century, as it came 6th place of world sales in 2003. His new book, “The Winner Stands Alone” is also predicted to become a top selling novel.
10 Questions With Paulo Coelho
1. How do you reset yourself to become creative? Do you have any rituals?
Keeping the curiosity alive.
2. What is an example of a time where you have thrown away an existing idea to force yourself to find something new?
Every time I start writing a book I am forcing the book that I want to write, not the book that is already written in my soul. So, after 50 or 60 pages, I feel that you cannot command the creative process - and I delete the pages. Of course, after many years, I know that this is going to happen (starting with a “false book,” deleting it, doing this over and over again till the “already written book” manifests itself) but I don’t have a short cut to avoid unnecessary work. I need to go through this painful process.
3. How did you get involved in writing and what motivates you to continue?
It was my dream. And writing is not like finishing a house - there is always a new book waiting. Till the day I die, I hope.
4. How do you define a trend?
Something that, when the mainstream media notices, is already in its last throes.
5. How do you define cool?
6. Do you need a culture of innovation to create something that is cool?
No. You just need to understand that simplicity is the basis of everything. Innovation easily backfires. Take storytelling, for example: today there are so many new writing styles that writers tend to forget the power of storytelling - they are too much concentrated in innovation. But as Salomon wrote 3,000 years ago, “there is nothing new under the sun.”
7. What is the best way to create an infectious idea, product or service?
Passion; simple like that.
8. What is the key to innovation?
Never being satisfied.
9. What are the most important trends you see in the writing industry?
Free content. The industry is fighting against it, but it is a lost battle (fortunately).
10. What are your most important hobbies?
Walking two hours every day [along with] archery, reading, [and] blogging.
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