Murakami, Haruki (2011). What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, 19.

Story behind the Passage

On some days, there are simply no words left. How often do you have to tell people that writing is vision, mission, and method at the same time? Haruki Murakami is one of those writers who writes about writing. And he links it with running, which is why he is really close to me. But it does not actually matter. All writers know what writing means to them. It is just that others do not understand. For them, writing is work or business or both. Sometimes I have no words left to explain why writers have to write in order to live. That is when only poetry can do to explain in different words what Murakami is saying:

“It’s precisely my ability to detect some aspects of a scene that other people can’t find, to feel differently than others and choose words that differ from theirs, that’s allowed me to write stories that are mine alone.”

Writing stories that are “mine alone” is a privilege that many writers do not experience because nobody gives them money for this. As someone told me today, it does not matter. You have to go on. You have to push it. You have to go on every day. Even though you do not know why you would do this, you have no other option. Well, if you are a coach, you always know that there are other options. But coaches are not writers, and writers are not coaches. To be honest, I do not care anymore. Writers who write do not need coaches. They just need their peace and the feeling that at least one person is reading them. Or maybe not even that. Maybe they will never be read. And maybe that is not even the purpose of writing at all….

My Learnings

Giving people a voice

Is all that matters.

What matters to others

Should not matter to you.

If you give people a voice,

They have a say.

They can be someone,

They can move things.

Maybe books are dead.

Maybe they will resurrect.

What remains are the stories.

They will always count.

If people read anymore,

No one has an answer.

So many voices go mad,

Quality stands in the shadow.

It is sad to see sad writers,

But they have to hang on.

The people wait for them,

To find them somewhere.

Their voices have to be heard,

Their lives depend on it.

Words can be saviors,

If there is nothing else.

How can it be

That writing is marketing

That good writers starve

That society does not care.

You have to continue,

It will work someday,

Some people will read it.

They will learn from it.

But they do not know

What it is like.

To give people a voice

And nobody cares.

There are people who help,

Most others do not.

Everything is a business.

And they are right somehow.

For writers there is no choice.

Either write or die.

Many things change.

That is a lasting truth.

Reflection Questions

1) Which people would you like to give a louder voice in the public?

2) If someone offered you thousand dollars per day for writing — would you do it?

3) For what dream/vision would you give up everything?