Paulo Coelho — On writing

I wrote a transcript of an interview with Paulo Coelho — the author of the Alchemist — and here are four ideas that you can also use as an author in order to reach more people with your message.

1. Don’t try to capture ideas; live your life in the first place

Paulo Coelho was asked how he captures ideas and he just responded that he doesn`t do that. He tries to live his life and then when it is the time he writes sometimes also about his own experiences. The important things will be in your memory and the unimportant things will be forgotten, so don`t worry about trying to capture ideas. He emphasized also that often times it is the book that is ready to be written that decides when it is time to start the book project and not so much the author. So, when the book is ready the author is just the medium who is typing the whole thing. Be open and don`t try to capture every idea because you will not have a life if you do that.

2. The biggest mistake of authors is to underrate their work

You have to be self-confident with your book and your story. “You cannot underrate yourself, you cannot feel insecure, you cannot sell your next book by despising or underrating the book that is just published”. In the interview, Paulo Coelho explained that when he speaks with author`s they often times say things like “Oh, wait for my next book. That one will be much better” and he doesn`t really understand why authors are doing this. You have to be self-confident with your book and also communicate this with your audience.

3. Don`t focus too much on critics

Your real work as an author is to write and be open to new ideas. There will always be many people that will criticize you and you should be ok with it. Think of it like this: you should be very proud of many people who criticize you because that means that you have a lot of people who are reading your books and your publications. Isn`t that a good thing?

4. Put your soul out into the writing

At the end of the day things that authors write are very private and sometimes this process can be very hard. Your writings are part of your soul and should also reflect it. This should be the only thing that you focus on; put your experiences, emotions and your soul into the writing and share it with other people.

Paulo Coelho had also tough times when it comes to writing. His bestselling book The Alchemist didn`t sell at the beginning and the publisher gave the book back. He had to find another publisher and then the book became a world bestseller. He deeply believed in his story and his skills as a writer and that`s also what you have to do.

If you`re an author who wants to master marketing and selling skills you can download my FREE Author-preneur Guide — How to publish, market and sell your book. Just follow this link and download your free copy:

Ceyhun Yakup Özkardes is the creator of the online course Author-preneur — How to publish, market and sell your own book where he teaches marketing and selling strategies for authors.