Absolute control

By Paulo Coelho

Each person knows how best to be at peace with life; some need at least some degree of security, others launch themselves fearlessly into danger. There are no formulae for living out one’s dream: each of us, by listening to our own heart, will know how best to act.

The American writer Sherwood Anderson was always extremely undisciplined and only managed to write when fuelled by his own rebelliousness. His first publishers, concerned about the abject poverty in which Anderson lived, decided to send him a weekly cheque as an advance on his next novel.

After a month, they received a visit from the writer, who returned all the cheques.

‘I haven’t been able to write a line in weeks,’ said Anderson. ‘I just can’t write with financial security staring at me across the desk.’

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