Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I think about when I think about running

Still reading/responding to Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

Right now I'm doing two things: I'm procrastinating writing and I'm procrastinating running.
I usually run three days a week, and Wednesday is one of my days. Routine definitely helps. But I don't quite want to run now--10:00am--I usually run a bit later--noon--except that this afternoon I have plans so I need to finish my run earlier.

I usually write seven days a week (well, obviously I average something less because some days are lost, but close enough). I didn't write yesterday, however, so I feel a greater burden to do some writing now.

My current procrastination (I don't really count the blog as writing) is largely because of similar dynamics. I start seeing problems: running, I'm tired and I want to be fresh this afternoon. Writing: just problems in seeing how the rest of the project is supposed to go.

Murakami talks about how important it is to run every day (or almost every day); Implicit is what I've read so far is that writing everyday is also crucial.

But the everyday practice is not, in itself, enough. There's something more.

As I read Murakami, I think "I could write this well." I grant that What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is not supposed to be his best writing (or at least so I am informed by my friend who gave it to me). But still...And I don't think this is necessarily over-inflated self-assessment. It's that there is something more necessary--not just regular work, not just talent.

But I'm not quite sure how to explain the something more. I think it's something like a vision of something that you want to realize.
I guess for me, at least with running, the vision is just one of health, and this is a pretty clear vision, and not surprisingly I struggle with running less than with writing.

When Murakami talks about writing, it is clear that he writes with a specific agenda--he's going to write a novel, or he's going to write an article that has been commissioned.
For me, writing is more an exploration--I write to follow the ideas around, but then I have no vision of it being something--neither something complete, nor really something to bother sharing with anyone else (at least in part because of the incompleteness of the exercise).

The lesson I want to work on is the one of finishing a work, not just exploring it.

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