Monday, May 10, 2010

Learning from the best....

I am learning a huge lesson at the moment about humility...HUGE. Its the best ever...and I hope you guys also learn from it...

Anytime I read a book or watch a documentary that really touches my soul, I ALWAYS try and find out the email contact where I can write the artist, to say thank you. This is because I think its very important for people to know how their work has affected you and why. Not only does it encourage artists, to know that their work is valued by all kinds of people, but it is also very important to be thankful anytime you get something beautiful. I am never shy to do these things. Artists need to know they are appreciated.

The first author that ever replied me, was Paulo Coelho. It was so huge to me then. I could not imagine that he would reply. In fact for years, I have wondered if he was the one that actually replied or some secretary. After following his blog for a couple of years now, I do believe he is the one, as he makes it a duty to read all his mails by himself and often talks about the letters he recieves from his readers.

Anyway, that one reply, encouraged me to write to anybody whose work deeply affected me. You might think thats a lot, but it isnt. Even though I read all the time, its not often you read something that makes you stop reading and have a good cry, laugh or you just simply stare...for minutes. Most of the time, when you read, you might smile, chuckle, etc, but you dont put the book down and start know...thats what I mean. When you start thinking for a long time about something you read, then you know it got you. And thats the author you need to write to. To say, you know, I feel you...

Recently, I wrote to another artist, (I did not know he was an artist or how huge he was then). I am not going to write his name down cos I would not want to betray his trust, regarding the mails. Anyway, so I wrote to him regarding something I saw on TV that moved me beyond words. It was just something that was overwhelming and inspiring. It was easy to get a contact mail...facebook and twitter. Anyway, so I write to this person, not knowing how huge he all. All I wanted to say was I enjoyed your movie because of this and that, and of course, to say thank you, for the inspiration.

To say the truth, I did not expect a reply. It was mostly for myself, to feel better that I had said "thank you", that I have done my bit in encouraging him on his journey.

The letter I wrote was quite personal, cos I wrote about why his work had affected me the way it did and I recounted a similar experience I had had.

First of all, he replied. Which is huge in itself. But then, he also wrote about something personal relating to his work and his life. Which is also huge. If I expected anything, it would have been just a line saying "thank you, I am glad you liked it, etc etc". I did not expect him to reply in such a way. My own letter was written in a very offhand way, just cos I did not expect any reply. I mostly just blabbed about many things. Like the way I do on this blog.

So of course, I had to reply again. But this time, I had googled...and WHOZAH! I almost had a heart attack...I have spent the last three days in another world. Well, this guy...incredible. Its a world of graphic art, graphic novels and music. It has been seriously exhausting finding out all these things about his world. Let us just say that in the world of graphic art in this country, he is as legendary as they come.

Anyway, so I replied telling him how exhausting it has been finding out all these things about him. Its just HUGE and I don't even know where to start cos that is not my usual familiar territory...and of course, I gave him a progress report of the other situation we had first talked about.

And then he replied, again. Giving me a list of graphic novels to begin with, introducing the novels, a bit about the people who wrote them, and of course, an introduction to his own work as well. It was a very long list and he must have really taken his time to make sure I get a full education on the subject, with personal references as well.

This guy is just too huge and too busy to take such time and care to write to me. Plus, he has a new family life...

It just blows my mind that he would do that. He did not have to...

Its just very humbling that someone with the kind of life he has, would even take time to reply an unknown human being.

Well, I guess human beings can be special. He is special. Now I am off to buy some of the books he recommended...its a whole new world for me.

P.S: I guess I do have time for anybody that wants to be friends (you know, my last blog post). If this guy can take his time to reply my useless mails, I see no reason why I can not give another human being some minutes of my time...and I am a nobody. Its not like I have so much that I am doing that I can't spare a few will be tasking( and I am sure I will be bored out of my skull), but for the sake of the universe, I will try and be friends. God help me!


SHE said...


God help you.

I like the way you relate it to being friends.

Jaycee said...

Lol @ you now considering being friends with the guy from your last post.

Anyhow, I know from personal experience that after reading Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" I sat down and thought about life for a while. It made me reflect. Very few novels make me reflect like The Alchemist did...I really enjoyed reading it...I haven't read any of his books since then...

Anonymous said...


On behalf of the universe!

Femme Lounge said...

i know how that feels, i once sent a mail to a successful author and i got a personal response with recommendations and advice on something i had mentioned. i will forever cherish that experience.

mizchif said...

I didn't read this post oh, i just saw your comment on and i almost cried from laughter.
You my dear are a case.

Ms. Catwalq said...

Once I wrote to Danielle Steel and months later, she replied with an email just as long as the one I sent her. I nearly fainted. I knew it came from her because she answered some particular questions that I had asked of her and she had taken time to read the entire email. Probably that is why, it took months for her to get back to me. I was very happy she replied.

simeone said...

o.k you know what,, i feel you..or is it i feel your blog..for sometime now..

Sandrine said...

I emailed Steven Newman once after reading "Worldwalk" which is one of my favorite books.He replied and was very nice.I will always remember.

Waffarian said...

@ Jaycee: I know, the alchemist is one of his most popular books. However, the first book I ever read by Paulo was "by the river pedra I sat down and cried". It just blew my mind, and then I found the alchemist. I think you would enjoy that as well. "Veronica decides to die" is pretty good too. I think theres a movie of that. Can't wait to watch it. Its such a good book. Happy Weekend!

@SHE: Ha, hahahahah. Na guilty conscience catch me.

@anonymous: I am smiling right back at you!

@Femme lounge: You know, its such a great feeling!

@mizchif: you dey laugh...hehehehe, those grown men vex me..hehehe, olodos.

@ Na only you go write Danielle cool! Its just so great when they write back. I get all warm inside.

@ Tamsk you. My blog and I appreciate all admiration with humility. Cheers!

@Sandrine: I miss your blog...

Waffarian said...

@Simeone: Hey, I did reply your comment, but for some reason, I forgot to write your name when I wrote it. However, this comment was for you: "Tamsk you. My blog and I appreciate all admiration with humility. Cheers!"

I don write join for your blog self, so you no go miss am! Have a great weekend.

mizchif said...

I do it too!

Well on a smaller level.
While i was in Nigeria @ least i'd email the writers of my favourite columns, or stay back @ the end of a play to congratulate the director and the cast...i believe these little things count.

To me artists bless us through their work, and everybody needs some encouragement and appreciation and it would only take me a few minutes to show my appreciation, so why not.

I just picked u my first Paul Coehlo book. Looking foward to reading it even more now.