The act of writing allows me to feel truly alive. Knowing that I have sold 140 million books worldwide (and given an average of three readers per copy, have reached half a billion people), I have always wondered who these readers were who understood so well what I was saying. How could countries with such different cultures, like Israel and Iran, for example, be interested in my books? When I started using social media, without any assistance or planning, two things guided me: the curiosity to find out who reads my work and the challenge of writing on such a different platform.

Paulo Coelho on Six Secrets to Mastering Facebook and Twitter – Speakeasy – WSJ

“Tell me, friends, do you understand how wonderful I am? Because I must tell you, I cannot grasp it. My magnificence has far exceeded my poor abilities to comprehend magnificence. Who am I, really, in comparison to the aura my genius has generated? I can only lower my head, gently, slowly, in a winsome combination of embarrassment and reverence, acknowledging the miracle of my achievement. Now, I regret to say, I thank you generously for your attention, but I must now return to my restrained yet elegant study, lined with lovely books and autographed photos of many famous people expressing their delight in and awe of my writing, and strive for a more accurate count of the people worldwide (and perhaps — who knows? — beyond this world) who love my writing. Ciao.”