Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Alchemist is a MUST READ for any Aspiring Writer or Human Being Who Longs...Dreams...Wishes

I have been meaning to blog about this since the end of June but summer seems to have gotten in the way.

My good friend, Margie, told me The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is her all time favorite book. I had tried to get through one of his other books called The Witch of Portobello, but I couldn't it. And I seriously tried, for like over a year. I guess you could say I'm not a quitter, because I went back to that dang book 20+ times, trudging through, always ending up putting it back down, because I didn't like it. At all.

But no so with The Alchemist. Oh no.

This book is magical - and I don't say that lightly or flippantly. I'm completely serious. It's a fable about a shepard boy named Santiago who ends up on a whirl wind journey in a long a time. It is a simple story, an endearing simple story that continues to haunt my thoughts in my moments of quiet.

Now, for all you Naysayers and Whatever'ers and Oh-please'ers I say, read it and then go about your naysaying lives. But read it.

For all you fellow writers reaching for the elusive agent/publishing stars this book will uplift you, make you realize your dreams will come true - only if you work your tail off and NEVER, EVER, NEVER-EVER give up the dream.

One of the people Santiago encounters is an old man who calls himself The King of Salem. He tells Santiago of his Personal Legend and he goes on to say:

"It prepares your spirit and your will, because there is one great truth on this planet: whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it's because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It's your mission on earth."

I actually put a box around this line in my book and then highlighted it and then put stars around it. It speaks to me, deeply. If you are a follower of this blog then you know what I desire...an agent, a book deal, and to see my book on a real bookshelf, and live the rest of my life as a real author. Lofty, I know, but, I figure if other writers can make that happen, well then, so can I. I'm bold in my thinking, always have been.

The other part of the book that completely fascinated me was something else The King of Salem described to Santiago. He described 'Beginner's Luck"

"It's called the principle of favorability. When you play cards the first time, you are almost sure to win. Beginner's Luck. There is a force that wants you to realize your Personal Legend; it whets your appetite with a taste of success."

Jump with me to this past June, when I read The Alchemist and I got to that quote on page 29. Chills, yelps, punches to husband's shoulder and shouting, "LISTEN TO THIS!!!!" Yes, my husband thinks I'm dramatic; what can I say? He loves me anyway.

The universe was enticing me into wanting this writing thing to work out. Sneaky universe.

Go back and think about your own quest, whatever it may be. What is that you've always wanted? How has the universe enticed you? Made you think it was going happen...quickly?

Finally, my last most favorite quote is also a perfect way to end this post. Santiago finally encounters The Alchemist and he tells him about the one thing that can prevent a person from living out their Personal Legend...can make a dream impossible to achieve...

Fear.

Kick fear to the curb dear readers, to the curb.

*each time you see The Alchemist highlighted it'll take you to a different/cool site about it :)