Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Haruki Murakami

I’m reading an article in The New Yorker by Haruki Murakami. The article is actually about running, and in it he says, ‘…having the kind of body that easily puts on weight is perhaps a blessing in disguise…if I don’t want to gain weight I have to work out hard every day, watch what I eat, and cut down on indulgences. People who naturally keep the weight off don’t need to exercise or watch their diet. Which is why, in many cases, their physical strength deteriorates as they age. Those of us who have a tendency to gain weight should consider ourselves lucky that the red light is so clearly visible.’

He goes on: ‘I think this viewpoint applies as well to the job of novelist. Writers who are blessed with inborn talent can write easily, no matter what they do – or don’t do. Like water from a natural spring, the sentences just well up, and with little or no effort these writers can complete a work. Unfortunately, I don’t fall into that category. I have to pound away at a rock with a chisel and dig out a deep hole before I can locate the source of my creativity. Every time I begin a new novel, I have to dredge out another hole. But, as I’ve sustained this kind of life over many years, I’ve become quite efficient, both technically and physically, at opening those holes in the rock and locating new water veins. As soon as I notice one source drying up, I move on to another. If people who rely on a natural spring of talent suddenly find they’ve exhausted their source, they’re in trouble.’

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good but I can't believe him unless he gives examples of 'Writers who are blessed with inborn talent...' I don't accept that any writer exists who doesn't have to work hard - indeed very hard - at his/her writing. I may be wrong, but it's interesting to ponder anyway. xx i