The Running Writer: Haruki Murakami

Earlier in the last week’s morning, I checked my mailbox as anodyne do every morning. While checking my important emails, I saw an article from It was written by a female writer who talked about the best nonfiction books she ever read in her life. As soon as I saw that article link, I clicked on it. Because its feature intrigued my mind. As I went through the article, I loved her maximum recommendations (She recommend her most favourite non-fiction book). However, the most attractive recommended book that caught my eye was Haruki Murakami’s running biography: ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running’. I can tell you that it was one of the finest biographies I ever read in my life. After I skimmed the book’s summary, I instantly went to my favourite website and downloaded the book. I was not only downloaded but also started to read from that very moment.

In the first part of his memoir, Murakami, the most acceptable writer from Japan, talks about his early life, including his Jazz Club business, exhaustion, and passionless lifestyle. Suddenly, one morning, at the age of 33, he decided to shut down his Jazz club business. He decided to lead a life like a monk where he and his wife set a goal: Let’s go to bed early (before 10 PM) and got up early in the morning (before sunrises).

That routine helped Murakami to concentrate on his running again. He has been a runner for the previous three decades, but he found something magical this time. As he runs every day, he found rhythm back in his life, and he started to draft his first-ever novel. Murakami believes that writing a book is hard mental labour and physically draining too. Hence, running every day makes any writer emotionally and physically more potent than ever. Thus helping him to be a resilient writer: a running novelist, as everyone says.

Maybe you know already about Murakami’s famous writing-comes-running routine. In his writing days, he usually gets up every morning at 4.00 AM. Then, he tried to write 5 to 6 hours at a stretch without any distraction on his table with his fountain pain and scratchy writing notebook. He said that tireless, distraction-free sitting down for writing over a long period of time gave him such clarity internally that he feels magical overall in his life.

After his morning intense writing period, he usually goes for 10 mile’s run, and when he comes back home, he swims around 1.5 kilometres in his indoor swimming pool. In the afternoon till evening, he reads some books, listens to some music and goes to bed within 9 PM. He keeps repeating this routine until he finished his book. He believes this consistency of running and writing lead his mind to the deepest position of creativity to draft what he wants to write in his book.

While reading the book, I felt Murakami is the giant in terms of running. If you have any suspicion regarding my wording of ‘giant’, let me give you some statistics. In his regular time of life, he usually runs 6 miles a day, six days a week. Haruki never breaks his routine, never. He runs in the cold winter, in the stormy summer, on a rainy day. He runs even on a day when he feels running is useless. He runs from his heart as he describes, ‘I just run. I run in a void.’

Astoundingly, to prioritise his running, he gave up smoking, alcohol and unhealthy food consumption. Every year, he participated in a marathon. Whether it is in the hot sunny weather of Greece or the cold fuzzy environment of New York, he finished his marathon every time. Reading his marathon experience was one of the pure joy of this book.

For me, this biography represents so many things, and we can learn from this book a lot. We can understand how passion drives a person, how routine and consistent life open the human brain’s most adequate hole. We can learn that pain is inevitable in human life, but suffering is optional. Finally, we can realise that:

‘Most runners run not because they want to live longer but because they live life to the fullest.’

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Hello! I am Amit Hasan. A Biotech Graduate; Research is my profession; Writing is my passion; Reading is my obsession. I love to travel and meet interesting people. I often write my thoughts here with some letters and sentences. You are welcome to my intellectual world.

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