Organizing the battlefield


 
This is to be my main appearance at the Writers’ Festival in Melbourne, Australia. It is ten o’clock in the morning and there is a packed audience. I am to be interviewed by a local writer, J. F.
 
I step onto the platform with my usual feelings of apprehension. F. introduces me and starts asking me questions.
Before I can finish what I’m saying, he interrupts me and asks me another question.
When I reply, he says something like ‘that wasn’t a very clear answer’.
Five minutes later, there is a feeling of unease amongst the audience; everyone can sense that something is wrong. I remember Confucius and take the only possible action.
 
‘Do you like what I write?’ I ask.
 
‘That’s irrelevant,’ F. replies. ‘I’m here to interview you, not the other way round.’
 
‘But it is relevant. You won’t let me finish my thought. Confucius says: “Whenever possible, be clear.” Let’s follow that advice and make things absolutely clear: Do you like what I write?’
 
‘No, I don’t. I’ve read two of your books and I hated both of them.’
 
‘Fine, now we can continue.’
 
The lines of battle have been drawn. The audience relaxes and the atmosphere becomes electric, the interview becomes a real debate, and everyone – including F. – is pleased with the result.

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Comments

  1. Jaffer Imran says:

    I wish if Mr Paulo notice me and a leave a word for me…..i also wish to be a writer.

  2. Jaffer Imran says:

    I have already read 5 books and there is always so much to learn in all these books. Some people think that they are smarter and they try to show it before others…..

  3. Brightmoon says:

    Today by chance I find your web log,by chance I read this post and I `m sure I could never learn something like that some where else and now I`m sure it is not by chance. Thanks for this post.I`ll read more and more here.
    It is funny I have read just two books from you too ,But I really enjoyed both of them especially Alchemist which seems incredible at least for me .

  4. cheryl field says:

    I applaud you Pauleo for remaining and going into battle. Many would have walked away. To be able to face our critics, to be able to agree to disagree, to know that not everyone will like us or our work means we have come to know not only ourselves but also the rest of mankind.♥

    No matter what I say or do it will never please everyone so I follow my heart.♥

  5. Angela says:

    It’s good to know that the interview bent into an honest one. It’s always better to talk to someone who’s open with their thoughts. Whether they agree with you or not. And it takes a lot of courage to pull honesty from someone and to admit it. (Just a mere observation: Hate is a Very strong word to use. It’s possible, the admittance is the denial of whatever truth he got from the book.)

  6. Jose says:

    Your writings are an inspiration. I read then with great interest. Those who hate your works are heartless.

  7. Heather says:

    This is a powerful lesson for me. Thank you. Thank you for this and for seeing clearly (and straight to the heart of another, that transparency could prevail).

  8. BBQ says:

    unethical!! even if he didn’t like your books, is his duty to research why millions of people like them or at least to take a neutral stand, what a recentful person he must be, why do people recent other’s shine? or success I just don’t get it…

  9. Jenn says:

    I wonder why he doesn’t like your books.

    1. cheryl field says:

      I would say it is because his heart is closed along with his mind. ♥

  10. Vrushali says:

    Wow!