Readers and writing

Do you need a lot of time between books? Do you need time for a story to live in your imagination? (from Hadrian )

Actually, when I’m not writing I dedicate myself completely to live. I don’t seek stories or anything of the sort. I simply enable myself to be immersed in life – this way I know that somewhere along the line a novel will take hold. But I can’t force this.

Have you ever thought of writing a sequel for the Alchemist? (from Adam )

No – for me a book has a beginning and an end. It has never crossed my mind to write a sequel to any of my books.

Are all the feelings that guide you through your books the same ones that resonate in your life? (from Paloma)

The feeling that guides me through my books is the need to share. In this perspective others are essential. As a writer I cannot write a book while being isolated from people. Books only emerge from this interaction.


  1. ziad says:

    i am not a big reader. i can go a far as saying that i used to hate reading, but ever since i read the alchemist, i been hooked. The zahir is a great book aswell and now im half way into the devil and miss prym. i dont consider my self a atheist but i in no way believe in any organized religion..i look at my self as a FREE THINKER, not boxed in by anything or anybody. But, i must say from reading your books, i get a sense of your religious belief, but it doesnt seem to bother me because you dont push it on others. I hate when people do that. just wanted to write and say im a huge fan.

  2. venancia fr. tky. says:

    yes, im writing too…but not like Mr.Coelho`s writing.Its my miss.everyday.

  3. Natalie says:

    Your books very terrestrial that is why are read easily and sink down in soul. After each read book, I that changed that in the life, especially it is the book the alchemist and the soldier of light. I thank you for your talent.

  4. Valeria says:

    La verdad es que me han gustado muchos sus libros aunque si e leido solo dos y debo ir a buscar otro en la biblioteca, espero encontrarlo, son muy intenresantes,la verdad es que me hacen ver la mia vida desde otro angulo dire, aunque si no se donde estoy parada…ja,ja mas lo importante es que me ayudan a descubrir un mundo diferente a aquello que ya conocia y bueno gracias y perdon por mi comentario si esta fuera de lugar saludos !!!

  5. Sabahat says:

    have you studied Islam religion because your writings resonate teachings of Islam and you seemed to know somuch about muslims’ faith.

  6. lety says:


  7. Isabel says:

    Ya me gustaria a mi escribir la mitad de bién que el sr. Coelho, eso seria genial, pero de momento no paso de escribir, unos cuantos poemas, pero lo que yo queria decir es que espero con ilusión, su nuevo libro, nunca he sido capaz de salir de una libreria, sin comprar sus libros, soy una gran admiradora.

  8. María Gabriela Osuna says:

    Que lindo señor Paulo, eso y mucho mas es usted…..!!! <3

  9. Jana says:

    the need to share…compassionate and sincere like always =)

  10. liset says:

    Mis respetos y admiración ,siempre he considerados que los escritores son seres maravillosos,primero por atreverse a crear, la mayorí­a copia,.segundo por permitir que otros lo lean y tercero por que a pesar de sus muchas circunstancias poseen la suficiente imaginací­ón para plasmarlo. Exitos y mil bendiciones.

  11. Mariana says:

    MulÅ£umesc din suflet dragă Paulo pentru amabilitatea de a í®mpărtăşi cu noi poveÅŸtile ÅŸi experienÅ£a de viaţă !!!
    Cărţile tale sunt o sursă de meditaţie şi visare!
    Bazate pe experienÅ£e din viaÅ£a reală, unele plăcute, altele mai puÅ£in plăcute, ele constituie-pentru mine-hrana sufletului ÅŸi chiar un reper după care í®mi conduc viaÅ£a í®n momentele esenÅ£iale ale ei.

    íŽÅ£i doresc multă sănătate ÅŸi í®Å£i mai doresc, ca pasiunea scrisului să nu te părăsească niciodată !

    Pace, credinţă şi dragoste !
    Cu admiraţie şi multă iubire, Mariana

  12. Angela says:

    Hi Mr Coelho!
    I really appreciate your insights and I’m a big fan of your writings but may I ask why you have the above sign of a circle and an inverted cross in this blog site? It just bothers me…
    Thank you. ^_^

    1. jacob says:

      I wish he woudl’ve answerd you.
      did you ever find out?

    2. ziad says:

      dude get over yourself…i doubt its a upside down cross, it looks more like a sword or a dagger to me.

  13. Florence says:

    Paulo I simply Love you Dear :) you’re pure Authenticity, I Love that ! :) xx


  15. James Stygles says:

    Mr. Paulo do the blogs fuel your imagination for new ideas to write about?

  16. marianela says:

    hola, distinguido paulo, porque no hay letras ni palabras para su persona… aqui una mas d sus seguidoras, usted es mi patron a seguir lo admiro mucho; no igual k usted pero al igual tambien tengo el privilegio de escribir…. saludos desde aca… bendiciones y siempre siga adelante.. espero algun dia conocerlo, gracias. marianela u.

  17. Yo siempre lo he admirado mucho sr, Coelho, sobre todo xq sus libros están escritos en un lenguaje claro y sencillo, que despúes de leerlos mi espiritu queda muy satisfecho y en paz. ¡¡felicidades¡¡¡ saludos desde México.

  18. drdwarak says:

    I like all the writings of Paulo….

    I now understand the spring of your thought process….

    Thanks Paulo! your words are enlightening & surely comforting …..

    I planned to write a book on Human stress & its management…it never happened & few months back in Bali…while finishing my running down the hill towards a river… sitting beside it…. a thought came…. my whole approach changed….. now i am in the process of writing a book on more possibilities on Happiness….

    As vedanta says, “bring a light into a room of darkness & darkness disappears”
    Bless me on my effort to bring more happiness in all! is beautiful..happiness is(Y)our choice

    1. shaaron hendry says:

      blessings to you on your effort and congratulations on your taking the other road, a road different from your original intentions :-)

  19. Maria-Fe Parco Ortner says:

    “…when I’m not writing I dedicate myself completely to live… As a writer I cannot write a book while being isolated from people.”

    This is exactly why I like – indeed, love – Paulo Coelho and his writings. Because you are not an ivory tower artist, but are so grounded in this world, and attuned to what we all go through every day. Thanks a lot for your guiding light, Paulo!

  20. ahmed says:

    Hi Mr Paulo
    i am from somalia, live in sweden, and i am a big fan of yours.
    this is a the best guidance for me and i thank you for it.
    i want to write a book although i am asolated but now i won’t be writting any because as you said books only emerge from interaction.
    THANKS Abdirahman

    1. Hilde Nichols says:

      Hi Abdirahman,

      who says that you function the same way Mr. Paulo does?
      If he says he can’t write when he’s isolated from other people, that means that HE needs some sort of a feed back process in order to write. But, he did not say that everybody is the same, did he?
      So, I would like to encourage you to write your book anyhow. Maybe there is so much life already stored up in your head that you can do this easily and lively, just on your own, or for an imagined audience. Your young relatives. Whoever you wish to reach with your words.
      Kind regards,

      Hilde Nichols

  21. Coriënne says:

    That’s why they are so damn good, you swallow life and spit it out in your books!!!!

  22. Badar says:

    Thanks Paulo,
    This is a guidance for me.

  23. Heidi says:

    Dear Paulo cohelo, your books are such an inspiration to me. I last read 11 mintues. The character reminds me of myself except that I lived a very different life of fearing sexuality rather than trying it in all it’s forms. Sexuality for me does not excape the boundaries of my bedroom, and I quite downright avoid it in my day to day life in case it would over take my interactions considering I come from a religious background that I adhered to. I believe that if I did not have my religion to hold me back that I could have easily went down her path because her childhood seems awfully similar to mine. I know she’s a fictional character but it was nice to read about someone like myself and the road I could have taken. I realized by the end of the book that living a life where you searched for love by not being attached to anything is better than searching for love and being attached to everything to bridge the separation. Once again thank you for making me ponder.

    1. The Reve. says:

      HEIDI…your comment reminded so much of the first time I ran into Paulo’s books. I was working and have lots time my hands. Where I was at the time, there was a book store, I took a walk over, and saw these books by Paulo. What makes it even funnier I never heard of him before………I pick one up and read it before leaving? On my return I brought the rest of the books, and read them in less than three days. He those know how to let the reader ponder a thought of self?

      A comment; I believe it is more dangerous to ponder what if, than to have not experienced that which has been past? Now you live in fear, the fear and desire to experience that which is not you, to be reminded by a book? You state that she is a fictional character…my question is, is she? Why did the book found you to share its self, and reminding you that you are not who you wanted be, or have been?

  24. Kamala says:

    You continue to inspire! Thank you for todays letter, as I place words upon the pages, also. I say the book has written me. You have spoken what I feel in my heart, as I can only write when inspired by what life has gracefully and painfully led me to experience.

    Inspired to continue…..

  25. Howaida says:

    So nice to find you answering questions, and I want to know if you imagine a story out your own imagination or does it have to be a real experience or an event that has happened in your life or someone telling you a story???

  26. Jorge says:

    I am not writer but yes a passionate reader… and coelho had been an inspiration for me since I was a teenager… and I am glad to find this blog where i can find people from all walk of life that share my passion…
    the combination of Fitness with literature had helped me be a better person, the discipline of the exercises, and the wisdom of the books… you can try this at home :-)

    My blessing to all of you !

  27. dhyana poernomo says:

    i always keep my hand writing, if hard to say smething in every words what i’m was really helpfull..and sometimes trully inspiring..but let me say smething for u paulo, really annoying whay i couldn’t find -Brida in indonesian language?

  28. C.A.R. says:

    Be able to write like you do is a precious gift – I can’t do it.
    I will keep reading your books because to me, they are a window to an unknown universe.
    Thanks for sharing your gift.

  29. Zainoon says:

    I think that essentiel base writing rests upon is the ability ti whirlpool the readers into a simple but intense narration of a precise description of daily, on-the-surface events, and uncover the layers and deliver them into an organized comprehension. we live through hunders of situations an evebts, we feel hunxees of unintelligble urges to say thinga or do things and we never quite understand the many WHYs that poppes up durig an after-contemplation of our reactions. so it’s to writer to portray these explanations for us readers and that leads us to the reasons behind writing novels, especially fiction which is entertainment nd education.

    one more thing, as I believe the chain of our reactions goes as follows: situation..understanding..creation of emotions..or triggering emotions.. feeling and then reactions. so the distinguished abilitiy in the writersallow them to get into the middle of that processes and witness what we readera most of the time cant

    Zainoon -peace.

  30. Lul Eyob says:

    dear sir,
    Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind. i always wrote the ideas and stories i experienced since when i was six years old, as my father advised me when he noticed many of my friends were not in agreement with me .
    lul eyob

  31. C'est La Mode says:

    Not everyone is skilled in writing novels. And not everyone is patient enough to read thick books/novels. Be thankful of the talent and make good at it…or shall I say make it in good use. Have I said it right, I hope so?

  32. sneha rooh says:

    you know it ws just yest i was telling my friend that i waiting for a book from paulo cohelo:) she laughed saying “you think you know both know each other very well?” and today i read this…pls paulo,we are waiting for your new book..i feel stuck right now and every time i felt stuck i read one of your books and that always had answers for what i wanted…pls pls..pls be the channel of the universe!

  33. jo_chris says:

    since i started reading your book The Alchemist i began to follow your books, blogs and inspirational quotes. your blogs, books, quotes on twitter and even on facebook made me very optimistic. I pray you long life and good mind to continue inspiring us. :)

  34. Rocío Chacón says:

    Don Paulo. Sus historias, sus vivencias son muy bellas. Creo que la pasión por la escritura debe surgir de muy adentro de nuestro ser, es aprender a vivir cada instante como si fuera nuestro útimo momento. Es enriquecernos de cada cosa, cada historia, cada situación que nos rodea y que nos crea un momento mágico en nuestro existir. Escribir es inspiración es amor por lo que haces, lo que vives.

  35. stefens says:

    Paulo..I write or not….in response to your blog…..but I alwayse read carefully , what you write….and I feel you are my family member…I pray the God for your good health..

  36. Arun says:

    I have written few poems & a half complete novel. I can not say I have written ,because it has overpowered me & forced me to write. The forces of the emotions i have experienced is out of the world. Its the pain & ecstasy of creation. You must have also gone through it while writing the great novels of you.

  37. olimpia says:

    La escritura bendita sea, cuantos nervios me a sacado de ensima,y yo no soy escritora , pero un amigo muy querido un dia me vio muy mal ,y el consejo fue que volcarara todo lo que sentia en un papel ,que buen resultado ,pareceria que limpiaramos el alma, Gracias por que en tus libros siempre hay alguna parte donde nos identificamos…nunca dejes de escribir….

  38. El Burro de Caín says:

    Me pasa con sus libros, sigo interactuando con la vida al leerlos. Estoy lejos de donde puedo conseguir El Aleph, pero me imagino que ya debe de estar en librerí­as en Lima, salgo a otro lugar mañana y me lo quiero llevar, así­ como a mis anteojos, reloj o lapicero, como un instrumento de vida. Seguro que también el celular y la laptop.
    En fin en esta vida uno se rodea de lo que le es útil o bello.
    Disfrute, escriba, y siga disfrutando!

  39. khushbu says:

    i like your every book great inspiration to draw..

  40. Katrin says:

    Living life does make the pen flow more freely for me as well — especially, after a spell of full engagement in whatever it is I’m doing. When the period of action is finished and I’m ready to write, if I’m open, the words come. However, I must find the courage and discipline to carry out the creative task — oh life and her distractions!

    Thanks for sharing!

  41. Kris says:

    I’ve a life full of many painful times. Is there benefit to writing about these times as well as those that are happy memories?

  42. Najeh Mostapha says:

    Hi Mr Paulo
    i am from mauritania, i am a big fan of yours .
    i wonder if you think to visit our region soon ( Maroc,tunisia….etc) so i can meet you or at least feel that we’re in the same region and you dont know what will that mean to me .
    thank you my mentor and i hope someday you’ll write a sequel for the Alchemist .

  43. Odette says:

    Hi Paulo, I am moved to write to you because “The Alchemist” is and will always be my favorite book. I have listened to the audiobook maybe 100 times with my children and have found it essential to my mothering. I teach my daughter (10 yrs old) and son (7 yrs. old) life lessons from my book, from finding their personal legend to how to make decisions. Thank you for the wonderful gift that you have given us.

  44. tomoe says:

    Dear Paulo

    Thank you very much for sharing this topic!
    I hope my friend who live in a place where is the other side of the planet! because he want to be a writer.
    Arigato for your wonderful words! :)))))

    1. Sylvia says:

      Muchas vecces escribi .. comienzo y no paro… me salen las ideas y historias mias o de otros sin fin… si lo repaso y leo no parece ser escrito por mi… me quedo de una pieza, sorprendida…
      Ahora no estoy seguro si suelo hacerlo o no ???
      Y sabes porque ? Porque hay tantos libros de cada tema ya, y cada dia salen mas. En vez de pasar las horas escribiendo, voy y las vivo con mis gentes ,,, les cuento las historias directamente en el presente… como antes eran los que iban de pueblo en pueblo contando las fabulas…
      Un abrazo

  45. Quien se aí­sla y no convive con los Seres humanos que conviven en este breve plano existencial; no entiende lo que significa la palabra compartir.

    Muchas gracias estimado Paulo.

  46. Mathilde says:

    hm, yesterday another someone told me i should write a book, now you come with this.. i love to write.. i do ..for years since childhood i write mainly my thoughts.. have half a ‘book ‘ written, just came, could not stop writing, till i let my older sister read it, its a different story, names, she obviously same childhood, recognized lot of feelings, was disturbed, i stopped writing. from some others got good reactions. wanted to know what would happen next..
    i guess i realize writing my way is ok. let go and i will not block, because off i think it have to be in a certain way. i like interact with people in writing, sure also face to face conversation.. i love to share thats why people go telling me to go write a book LOL
    they want me to stop writing them such long stories so often, LOL xx

    ‘The feeling that guides me through my books is the need to share. In this perspective others are essential. As a writer I cannot write a book while being isolated from people. Books only emerge from this interaction’