– Paulo Coelho
Born this day in 1947, Coelho is a Brazilian lyricist and novelist. He is the recipient of numerous international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum. The Alchemist, his most famous novel, has been translated into 80 languages and won him a devoted worldwide audience.
As a teenager he told his parents he wanted to be a writer, and they tried to discourage him and get him into law instead, telling him writing was not a way to success. So he tried studying law but dropped out, became a songwriter, and then worked as an actor, journalist, and theatre director. Ultimately, though, his love of creative writing kept bubbling to the surface and in 1982 he made the leap, something he said brought immediate joy to his life.
“When you are enthusiastic about what you do, you feel this positive energy. It's very simple,” he said. And so it was “the writing life for me.”
Writing a book per year since, he’s up to 30 and counting. Three of them – The Pilgrimage,The Valkyries and Aleph – are autobiographical, while the majority of the rest are fictional, although rooted in his life experiences.
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