The Alchemist and Finding your Personal Legend
So most of you know that my day job is as a teacher. That's why I've not been posting much lately...report cards come out soon, and I've been up to my eyeballs in grading essays.
The essays this term were on a novel by Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist. It is a brilliant little book, well told, and short enough to both have a punch-to-the-gut kind of importance without taking away all reader imagination. So I had the kids read this book on their own and then write a 5 page essay on how the main character is a hero and how the book inspires them to be the hero of their own lives (we were doing a bunch of that Joseph Campbell stuff at the time).
And while I've read this book at least 3 times, I don't think I ever really came up with how applicable it really is to one's own life. It truly is a universal book. But more than that, I think it is the perfect book for a writer on the rocks.
The thing is, I've been a bit down about revisions. I dislike revisions, but I think I've grown enough as a writer recently to realize the extent to which I must revise. I've been writing novels for, Lord, almost 7 years now (wow, really?!) without publication, and getting to the point where I was mature enough as a person (I started when I was 20) and mature enough as a writer (with stacks of pages hidden under the bed) has been a process in and of itself. And while I might be improving, I'm also aware of the fact that my eyes are getting full of shiny green jades.
But The Alchemist is a good book to restore the (writer's) soul. See, it's all about following your dreams, even when the going gets tough. Here's the super-quick rundown:
Everyone has a Personal Legend. This is your dream. Whatever the purpose of your life is, that is your Personal Legend. For me, it's my published book on the shelf. Now, once you realize your Personal Legend, you will have Beginner's Luck. The Soul of the World (fate, God, the universe-- the thing...