Why We Write
By Bob Abor
Qi Hao, Beijing
Millions of books have been written by different authors and have remained popular in our culture perhaps without readers realizing the reasons behind publishing the books. Today, Mr. Feng Tang and Mr. Sofronis Sofroniou shared with participants at the 4th EU-China International Literary Festival the reasons why they publish.
They first shared with the audience the pains and pleasure associated with writing
According to Mr. Sofronis Sofroniou, when you are writing a novel it can cause you a lot of pain and pleasure at the same time. Writing a novel can take you up to three years to complete; you sit in the library and generate ideas which are not easy’” he said. He noted that the happiness is when you finally publish the novel; you get a lot of attention and the reactions world over.
Feng Tang, a famed Chinese Poet and Writer, compared publishing to climbing a mountain or working. “Writing is not natural. It is a painful process. You need to work hard. Sometimes it results into health complications,” Mr. Feng said. He noted that the pain involved in writing is not only physical but also a pain of expression. “There are different interpretations of the work; each word means different things to different people. Writers have to negotiate all these in their work. So you can imagine how writing a full book is difficult” explained Mr. Feng. Among the pleasures, he said that writing gives him a very slow pace to life because the world is moving pretty fast. “In writing, I am able to reflect on the past. I have my own time and relish the memory,” he narrated. Mr. Feng also acknowledged that is pleasing to contribute to making future generations know what the world was about or like 200 years ago and this achieved through writing. You all mention readers in your work, how does your work benefit the your readers
Mr. Sofronis Sofroniou said that yesterday he mentioned that the urge to write accumulated from inside while studying abroad in New York, USA. “I had a lot of things to let the world know about my country Cyprus. So I went back to home to work on my first novel,” he said. However, he did not know that many people would read his book but the attention that he got after publishing was inspiring. The noted that although the first book was mainly on political and social events in Cyprus, the second novel he wrote makes sense in other countries as well. He did not mention his country in the book. He created something different.
He added that since he comes from a small country-Cyprus, he gave himself time to think of techniques of making his work have a global perspective by using popular names and focusing on common issues.
Mr. Feng delved deeper into the roles of the readers in author’s perspective. He said that he involves them in the thinking part of his writing. He gave an example that his mother asked him why he was writing a book about his father, not her. He justified to her she is still alive but the the book intended for memory of his late father. After writing, he noted that readers are important in reviews; some readers will say this is good or bad. Others understand the ideas he wants to express. So he enjoys the writing process and readers to enjoy reading the book.
What specifically compelled the two authors to write?
Mr. Sofronis Sofroniou said that working in a hospital in New York gave him opportunity to observe what was happening in my country and talk about it more objectively. A lot of defamation has also been written about Cyprus. “I got a vision that some traces of what was happening should be known to the outside world, I went back, did interviews, took pictures and compiled them into a book,” he explained.
His Chinese counterpart, who wrote a lot of historical perspectives, said that he is compelled by natural characteristics in himself. “The world is a very not an ideal place. I went to the US and Europe, in the past I feel it is a special place. Based on this personal characteristic, the difference is the time. I want to write about the past. Observations give me lots of ideas for my writing,” explained Mr. Tang.
Unlike his colleague, Mr. Feng said that when he travels to his place of birth it is easy to describe what is on surface, but the underlying or profound problems are still there to express to the readers.
The two authors was given the opportunity to asked each other
Mr. Feng asked his counterpart what he does apart from writing.
He answered that when he came back from the US in 2000 he used to work in a hospital but quitted to write books. He mentioned that he had problems because Cyprus is a small country where book sales are low. For this reason, he teaches in Greece, Germany and Cyprus. He is also plays music for people.
Book writing is so demanding, Mr. Sofronis Sofroniou asked his Chinese colleague how he finds the pleasure to balance his life because book writing is so demanding.
Mr. Feng said that he is a part time writer who writes only on vacation and weekends. He also drinks after finishing his work.
How can you have inspiration for your work and you do not know how to proceed with the boo-asked Asked Mr. Alec?
Mr. Feng replied that he does not need to look for inspiration because it comes from him. He advised him to really see clearly in his heart and should go into the details and get closer to the issues that he intends to write about.
You mentioned a globalized village, in such as fast changing world, is internet information useful to authors-another participant asked?
Mr. Sofronis Sofroniou answered that you can use information that comes from everywhere. He says that all these information that are coming together help you not only write but understand how human beings are inter-connected.
Why We Write