A Man Chasing His Dream - Oh Hyeong Seok
Are you chasing your dream? Or are you just following what others do? It's a tragic world where making one's dream come true is rarely possible. However, here's a man who realized his long-cherished dream - Oh Hyeong Seok, a promising novelist who caught the hearts and minds of more than one million readers. The Inha Times met him and he gave us his story.
The Inha Times (IT) : When did you dream of being a novelist?
Oh Hyeong Seok : The writing bug first hit me when I was 14. Excitedly, I set out to write and series of novels. The interest waned somewhat but then returned in force to compel me to write my present canon. Sometime, though, the drive to write can visit you as a great demon of stress.
IT : I heard that you’re majoring in electrical engineering at Inha University. Is there a special reason that you chose to waive the undergraduate course to pursue your dream to be a novelist?
Oh Hyeong Seok : That’s because I’ve only ever wanted to be a novelist, but my parents didn’t share my enthusiasm and opposed my plans. I convinced them by promising to write my novels after I had gotten a job. So I entered the university for that reason. After that, I busied myself with my serial publication, and luckily, things worked out well and I became a full-time author.
IT : I guess your challenge wasn't easy when you turned professional.
Oh Hyeong Seok : What was really tough was my low income. I had to survive on 60,000won a month in the early years. I could stand the hardship because I was still a student and believed in my potential. Then, over time, my finances improved and stabilized, allowing me to continue writing.
IT : Your novel gained great popularity with readers, and you are now going to enter the North American market. You must be elated?
Oh Hyeong Seok : Well, you overpraise! There are so many novelists much better than me and much more popular than me. Anyway, in fact, I’m not really focused on my entry into the North American market as my book hasn’t been released there yet I don’t consider the commercial side of things because paying attention to trifles like marketing, exporting, and so on disturbs me. So I really don’t care though it’s obviously a great honor.
IT : This is a quite out-of-the-blue question. Has anything you’ve learnt in the Electrical Engineering Department been of help in your writing?
Oh Hyeong Seok : Yes, from an engineering perspective, when there’s an input there’s an output. And there’s a process between the input and the output. We call this process an ‘algorithm’. This concept of the algorithm enables me to think of the four major steps when composing a story: the ‘introduction’, ‘development’, ‘turn’, and ‘conclusion’ I’m now working on the daily publication market. So this engineering perspective is really helpful in thinking of well-organized stories, on a daily basis.
IT : This is the last question. Do you have any message for Inha University students who have their own dreams but who don’t try to follow them?
Oh Hyeong Seok : I can’t simply tell them to give up everything you don’t want to do and concentrate on what you do want to do. But it would grieve me to see that they easily give up their dreams. God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try. I really want them to try to make their own lives beautiful. Thank you.
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