Murakami on Running and Writing

View from near the Charles River, where Murakami often ran while in Cambridge.

View from near the Charles River, where Murakami often ran while in Cambridge.

Some words on writing from Haruki Murakami‘s book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running:

The whole process [of writing novels]—sitting at your desk, focusing your mind like a laser beam, imagining something out of a blank horizon, creating a story, selecting the right words, one by one, keeping the whole flow of the story on track—requires far more energy, over a long period, than most people ever imagine. You might not move your body around, but there’s grueling dynamic labor going on….

Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day.

These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself? How much rest is appropriate—and how much is too much? How far can I take something and still keep it decent and consistent? When does it become narrow-minded and inflexible? How much should I be aware of the world outside, and how much should I focus on my inner world? To what extent should I be confident in my abilities, and when should I start doubting myself?

I know that if I hadn’t become a long-distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different.

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6 Comments

Filed under Health/Wellness, Inspiration, Running, Writing/Books

6 responses to “Murakami on Running and Writing

  1. Gorgeous picture and really interesting excerpt. Thanks for sharing!

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