The celebrated and prolific novelist Haruki Murakami also happens to be an ultra-marathon runner, and in his collection of essays What I Talk About When I Talk About Running he talks about… well, running (and writing, of course).
So what three qualities, according to Murakami, do all good novelists share?
The web resource OpenCulture.com gives a nice summary of the author’s thoughts:
Murakami frames talent as an attribute that can’t be taught or bought. For the writer, talent is “more of a prerequisite than a necessary quality […] No matter how much enthusiasm and effort you put into writing, if you totally lack literary talent you can forget about being a novelist.” One feels this should go without saying, but for whatever reason, it seems that more people entertain the idea of becoming a writer longer in life than that of becoming, say, a musician or a painter. Maybe this is why Murakami then makes an analogy to music as a pursuit in which, ideally, natural aptitude is indispensable. But in mentioning two of his favorite composers, Schubert and Mozart, Murakami makes the point that these are examples of artists “whose genius went out in a blaze of glory.” He is quick to point out that “for the vast majority of us this isn’t the model we follow.” The novelist as runner, we might say, should train for a career running marathons.