Writing is like making love to computer

By Barbara Chai, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Aleph” tells the story of a man’s quest for peace with his past, which takes him on the Trans-Siberian Railway with a stranger, a young woman named Hilal. As the journey progresses, he discovers he may have more in common with Hilal than he first expects, and she may hold the key to his spiritual growth.

Coelho, who divides his time between Brazil and Switzerland, said he didn’t write the book while on the trip. In fact, he said he finds taking notes to be “totally useless” because he realizes his experiences are far richer than what he writes about them at the time.

“If I’m thinking about writing, I’ll be an observer and not the person who’s living the experience,” Coelho explained. “I was there 100%. The book was only ready in my mind in 2010.” As he wrote the book, he was reliving the experience and trying to capture the emotional state precisely in words.

“When you’re making love, you’re not there at the very beginning, you’re a little bit shy,” he said. “And then you’ll say, how am I going to perform? And then all of a sudden you are totally there. Your body and your soul. So, if it is only your body, it’s half of the pleasure, or less than that. So you’re totally there. Writing is like making love to computer.”

To read the full interview, please click here: “Paulo Coelho Compares Writing to Making Love”

Comments

  1. Cristina says:

    Bom dia Guerreiro!

    Vc escreveu o Aleph em 3 semanas , e os outros, vc lembra? O Alquimista em qto tempo? Impressionante escrever um livro como o Aleph em tão pouco tempo. Fazer amor com o computador é ótimo.
    E sobre seu tweet de que escritor e leitores são amaantes sem sexo, amei isso.
    Pensando aqui q paixoes mesmo nao existem, eu nao acredito, sem sexo, pelo menos nao a paixao correspondida entre duas pessoas. Amor platonico nao conta, pq né, baita tempo perdido.
    Dizem q mente é o maior órgão sexual humano, concordo.
    Vc e seu caso de amor entre seus milhoes de leitores , é diferente ne, acho encantador ler as reações q vc provoca, vejo q qdo vc responde alguem no twitter as reações são todas “uaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuu, ele falou comigo”, daí pra cima, adoro! (incluindo a minha ppia reação, q posso até me conter, mas vc sabe…sou louca por vc tbém ehehe, e mesmo q não me esgole no twitter, por dentro ó, derretoooooo rs)
    Outro dia tava vendo os leitores de varias nacionalidades q traduzem os textos aqui nos comments, acho tão legal, tão carinhoso. Quem ama espalha o trabalho de quem ama. E vc merece esses milhões apaixonados por vc, por tanta luz q espalha.
    Tenho ciumesdas suas outras milhoes de leitorAs #confesso, ai,mas quem ama tem ciumes tbém ne ehehe.

    Sexta abençoada pra vc, Maria passa à frente!

  2. cristian says:

    me pareciO interesante esre tema

  3. Edmond says:

    Hello All.
    i like this compare.Will add: writing its luxury,making love too…

  4. Monika says:

    I am becoming curious. In the end I will not wait until the book is released in German. But I have some problems with reading (only some pages), because my right eye don’t works well.

  5. Jean says:

    I bought “Aleph” a few minutes ago. I try not to expect anything from it, but I feel like it’s already a sacred moment.

  6. Françoise Fougères says:

    Writing is like make love to the computer and reading is to share this love.

  7. eleonora says:

    lo scrivere racchiude in sé istinto,contemplazione,empatia,ricordo ,stupore,immersione,ilarita’,tristezza,gioia,lacrime..tutte componenti che servono all’amore.SE l’amore deve ritenersi tale,necessita delle attenzioni che vengono usate quando scrivere è un atto d’amore.

  8. Carola says:

    Great comparison, and one most of us can relate to at a deep level.

  9. katie says:

    I like what tarek says: “We have to “make” LOVE whenever we do anything that we really LOVE”

    if we focus on the sex act, I see in all body responses the results of evolution to make procreation enjoyable so that we reproduce. including the soul in this act, gives me a chance to express myself beyond.

    when writing flows then I am a medium of the story. to reach this stage, it is necessary to involved the soul but also to tackle the loooong phase of procrastination.

  10. THELMA says:

    ‘Writing is like making love to a computer!!!”

    The term ‘make love’ IS DIFFERENT than the actual word ‘F…’! In Greek we say: Κάνω ΕΡΩΤΑ and ‘Γαμώ =γάμος = wedding’. So it seems that my .. Ancestors believed that to ‘make Erota’ is something different than the sexual act in a .. marriage! Marriage involves the notion of … duty and obligation! In my opinion these are the main reasons of “Marriage killing the EROTAS”!!! :-))) Of course to be ‘in love’ = ‘Eρωτευμένος’ involves ENTHUSIASM and all the Divine feelings we are all so well acquainted!In a metaphor we say I am ‘in love’ with … and we mean we are ‘possessed’.. ! We can be in love with anything that makes us .. forget ourselves, our mortality and we feel like .. Gods and .. fly!:-)) HAPPY FLIGHTS!
    LOVE,
    Thelma xxx

  11. Bryan says:

    a very odd comparison but what you say does makes sense : )

  12. Heimo Kruschinski says:

    An interesting article. For me personally, to write is like a dream, I can not explain it. I do not invent any stories, I live a life. Of things, from encounters and experiences, arises a story.
    “David was always there in the marble. I just took away everything that was not David.” This quote by Michelangelo, is my point of view of writing.
    It’s like a drug. And is incredibly cruel and also incredibly beautiful. It is sometimes a bit masochistic. It must be love, sometimes extremely intense sex, and also a therapy. It is terrible to write that word. END. And is so incredibly wonderful.
    An author is always a good observer. When writing, I observe nothing, hear nothing and see nothing. My girlfriend hates me for it :-). She sits opposite me and just laughs. I shall greet you from her. She is a fan of yours

    I wish you all a wonderful evening

  13. Leandro says:

    “If I’m thinking of writing, I’ll be an observer and not the person who is living the experience,” said Coelho. “I was there 100%. The book was finished only in 2010 in my head.” As he wrote the book, he was reliving the experience and try to capture the emotional state precisely in words. ”

    Perfect. We must be true when we write. The reader feels as true or false. And to be true really is nothing better than to write our experiences and our feelings, our worldview. Brilliant. Live first and write later.
    Great teacher.

  14. Naveli says:

    Hi Paulo,
    I loved the comparison… Making love is most wonderful thing in this world… and so is writing…

    With Love,
    Naveli

  15. Rich Rocoo says:

    Hi Paulo,
    I just finished “Aleph”…….it was remarkable. I will read it several times over the coming years and pass it on to my children.
    Are you planning any book tours here in the New York City area?

    Rich Rocco

  16. Appu says:

    Out of comfort zone to know self to achieve what is currently a dream maybe is love. Thanks for sharing the post.

  17. Tarek says:

    Making Love=having sexual relation? Well, in our days the two expressions seem to mean the same thing! Isn’t sexual relation only a part of making love? Making love is included in the word LOVE. We have to “make” LOVE whenever we do anything that we really LOVE :-)
    Lots of love.

  18. Marie-Christine says:

    En francais
    Paulo Coelho compare l’ecriture avec faire l’amour

    Le nouveau livre de Paulo Coelho ‘Aleph’ a atteint la liste des livres les mieux vendus dans le monde, dans les jours ou semaines apres sa publication.,
    L’auteur bresilien a l’habitude de s’emparer une place de ‘meilleure vente’ avec un record, parmi un de ses premiers livres ‘L’Alchimiste’ mais la popularite immediate de ‘L’Aleph’ le surprend toujours encore.

    ‘Je devrais en avoir assez. Ce n’est pas mon premier livre ni meme mon dixieme.’ a dit Coelho a Speakeasy par telephone de chez lui a Geneve. Mais je suis tellement enthousiasme par mon travail que je garde cet enfant en vie.’

    ‘Aleph’ raconte l’histoire d’un homme a la recherche de la paix avec son passe, ce qui le mene sur le train du Trans Siberien avec une etrangere, une jeune femme qui s’appelle Hilal.
    A mesure que le voyage avance, il decouvre qu’il a peut etre plus en commun avec Hilal que ce qu’il pensait, et qu’elle peut detenir la clef pour son developpement spirituel.

    Coelho dit que le livre est 100% auto-biographique, qu’il est base sur un voyage qu’il a effectue sur le train Trans Siberien en 2006. ‘Je n’ai pas tout ecrit la, mais tout ce qui est la est vrai.’
    En ce qui concerne ‘L’Aleph’ je me suis vu dans l’obligation d’en parler. Ce que je veux dire par obligation c’est qu’ecrire un livre est aussi mettre dans ma conscience ce que j’ai experimente. Parfois c’est sans s’en rendre compte, mais lorsque vous ecrivez, vous vous comprenez beaucoup mieux.

    Coelho, qui partage son temps entre le Bresil et la Suisse a dit qu’il n’a pas ecrit le livre pendant le voyage. En fait, il dit qu’il trouve que prendre des notes est ‘completement inutile’ parce qu’il se rend compte que ses experiences sont beaucoup plus enrichissantes que ce qu’il ecrit sur elles sur le moment.

    ‘Si je pense a ecrire je deviendrais un observateur et pas la personne qui vit l’experience.’ explique Coelho. J’etais la a 100%. Le livre est seulement apparu dans mon esprit en 2010.’
    En meme temps qu’il ecrivait le livre, il revivait l’experience essayant de capturer exactement l’etat emotionnel par des mots.

    Le theme du livre du voyage a un sens spirituel plus profond pour Coelho, qui pense que les gens en general sont sur la defensive envers l’un, l’autre. ‘Voyager est tres utile dans le sens que vous n’etes pas entoure de choses familieres.’ dit-il. ‘Donc, vous devez etre plus ouvert sinon vous n’allez jamais survivre. En fait, nous voyageons,nous faisons un pelerinage tous les jours , de chez nous a notre travail et au retour.’
    Un fois ‘L’Aleph’ termine, Coelho a decide de faire des experimentations pour provoquer et pousser les gens en dehors du terrain inconnu. Dans plusieurs villes qu’il a visite il a tente de parler a des etrangers dans l’espace restreint d’un ascenseur. Certains ont pense qu’il ‘etait completement fou’, tandis que d’autres ont accepte de converser. Il a trouve que les gens de Madrid etaient en general prets a discuter avec lui. De meme avec ceux de New York. Par contre, a Geneve, il a trouve que les gens etaient beaucoup moins interesses.

    Maintenant qu’Aleph’ est distribue dans le monde, Coelho passe 4 a 5 heures par jour a communiquer avec ses lecteurs en ligne sur les sites sociaux en reseau.
    De temps en temps, il donne un entretien sur Twitcam et souvent repond aux Tweets et commentaires de ses lecteurs.
    ‘Apres la sortie du livre , parler aux lecteurs sur ce que j’ai ecrit est magique.’ dit-il.

    Mais c’est toute une autre histoire lorsqu’il ecrit. Une fois, tous les deux ans, Coelho ecrit 10 heures durant pendant 15 jours, jusqu’a ce que le livre soit termine. Quand il l’a termine, il est epuise et sans energie. Il compare l’experience d’ecrire a celle de faire l’amour.

    ‘Lorsque vous faites l’amour, vous n’etes pas la, au debut, vous etes un peu timide’ dit-il, ‘Et puis vous allez vous dire:’Comment est-ce que ca va se passer?’. Et puis tout d’un coup, vous etes tout a fait present. Votre corps et votre ame. Alors, si cest seulement votre corps, c’est la moitie du plaisir, ou moins que cela. Alors, vous etes entierement la. Ecrire est comme si l’on faisait l’amour avec un ordinateur.’

  19. LoveM says:

    At first you turn her on
    Then you caress her keyboard
    Look into her big bright shinning eye
    Which reflects your love of words back to you
    She may even hum and purr with pleasure
    When you have had your way with her
    Mentally and emotionally spent
    You and her spirit live on
    Another Aleph is born
    BlessM ;P

  20. Annie says:

    Making Love to a computer
    no different than a woman

    her one and zeros
    demand all you have to offer

    body and soul from the author
    awe’s and ah-a’s when you read the book after

    in awe for who you are and what you ve done
    “it’s the best I ever had “..(read) :D

    Love and Gratitude
    Annie