Best selling Brazilian author, Paul Coelho, who is well known for books like The Alchemist, has not always been a writer.
In his twenties he hit the hippie trail and ended up doing time in prison. After his release he had a number of jobs, including that of a song writer. All the time he knew he was not happy. Even, when at the age of 38, he had love, money and a fine house he was still missing out on satisfaction.
Then, he said came the turning point. I said, “Why am I unhappy? I am unhappy because I am not doing what I want to do and that was to write.”
This awakening took place on a road. “The turning point,” he said, “was my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain, 21 years ago. It was on that journey that I decided to face my destiny and write. I was 40 years old. I was writing lyrics and articles but my dream was to write books. At the end of this pilgrimage, I decided that I could not live with this schizophrenic behavior anymore. I decided to stop doing those things that made me half happy and go for things that would fulfill me, even at the cost of getting a few scars and being hurt in the process.”
Shalaka Paradkar, ‘I, Me, Myself’, Friday Magazine, Gulf News, April 27-May 3, 2007, 120-126.