Where I’m Writing From: Beijing, China

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If only WordPress weren’t blocked in China, I would have posted this last week, but here goes. My Beijing room with a slightly-dusty view. Magic.

From Paulo Coehlo’s Blog:

Dreams and nightmares

by Paulo Coelho on May 5, 2012

No one will realistically think that you can make a living out of literature in Brazil. I faced many difficulties. When I was young, my parents in a desperate act of love, as they cared for me, sent me to a mental institution. They thought I was mad, as I wanted to be a writer. However, I was absolutely convinced about what I wanted to be.

The fact that you know your dreams is not enough. It is not good, living with the fact that you have it in you. You have to think of measures to manifest your dreams and be brave enough to pay the price of it. In a way, I postponed my dreams, as it took me many years to write my first book — a journey book.

There are times when you do not succeed in something you believe in. That stage is what you call a nightmare. Initially with The Alchemist, I could not find a publisher. I felt hurt.

If you are hurt about something that is meaningless to you, you can blame anybody else for it. But it is quite complicated to be hurt about something that is meaningful to you. Then you get confused, as you know the dream is there. And the dream is not going to leave you as long as you live. When you die, there is a small child within you, who will ask, why didn’t you follow me? And you have to explain. Therefore, it is better to take the risk, to be hurt, to go through some nightmare to fulfill you dreams.

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About Kaitlin Solimine

Kaitlin Solimine was raised in New Hampshire but has considered China a second home for the past two decades. She is the author of the award-winning forthcoming novel Empire of Glass and co-founder of Hippo Reads, a media start-up connecting academic insights with real world issues. She lives in Singapore.
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