Saturday, September 6, 2014

Be A God.

"If you want to succeed at writing, you make it happen."

We're sitting in a restaurant on the banks of the Bosphorus. We're in Turkey, in Europe. Across the river, less than a kilometre away is still Turkey, but it's in Asia. There is a gap in the land opposite, the entrance to the Black Sea. Ships emerge and enter at regular intervals. I sip my beer again, as Erdal continues.

"You're a writer. I'm a writer. We're gods. You're writing, and you need a town." He mimics typing. "You create one. You need a person. You create one. You don't like someone." More typing. "You kill them."

We pause. I'm thinking. Erdal is drinking his raki.

"You want to be a successful writer? Be a god. Make it happen."

I first met Erdal Güven in Japan twenty years ago when he was the Asian Bureau Chief for The Hurriyet. We soon became good friends. I have fond memories of evenings spent in his company in the streets of Tokyo. Since then he has become a respected author, both fiction and non-fiction, in his homeland.  We lost touch for a few years, but reconnected. And now I'm in Istanbul, we're catching up.

"You want it? You write it. It's all up to you."

My wife nods sagely. I'm still deep in thought.

"But it's not that easy," I counter.

"It is that easy, and that difficult," he says. "After all, it's only words."

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