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    The Guardian | Oliver Burkeman | 10/10/18 | 11 min
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    The Guardian
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    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      8 months ago

      Excellent article!

      Murakami once told an interviewer that he liked baseball “because it’s boring”, and his 2007 memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running extols the pleasure – if that’s the right word – of running as a respite from feeling too much.

      He operates from a bedrock trust in his subconscious: if an image arises from that dark inner well, he figures, it must be meaningful by definition – and his job is to record what arises, rather than to analyse it. (That’s a job for “intelligent people”, he says, his face crinkling into a smile. “And writers don’t have to be intelligent.”).

      His relationship to those stories is that of the dreamer to a dream, which may explain why he claims almost never to dream at night. “Well, maybe once a month, I dream,” he says. “But I usually don’t. I think it’s because I get to dream when I’m awake, so I don’t have to dream when I’m sleeping.”

      A few years later he was in the stands at a baseball stadium watching the ball sail off the bat of an American player named Dave Hilton, when it suddenly occurred to him that he could write a novel, an epiphany that led to Hear the Wind Sing (1979).

      As his stature increased, he also began to perfect the daily writing routine for which he’s arguably now as famous as for any single novel: rising at 4am to write for five or six hours, producing 10 pages a day before a run of at least six miles, and maybe a swim. “Owning a jazz club, life was so disorderly and confusing – going to bed at three or four in the morning – so when I became a writer, I decided to live a very solid life: get up early, go to bed early, exercise every day,” Murakami says. “My belief is that I should be strong physically in order to write strong things”: he may only be a pipeline, but it’s his duty to keep the pipeline in good working order.