Haruki Murakami on writing, from the San Francisco Chronicle.
Q: Readers are very passionate about your work. Why do you think fiction matters to people so much?
A: That’s a big question. I know how fiction matters to me, because if I want to express myself, I have to make up a story. Some people call it imagination. To me, it’s not imagination. It’s just a way of watching. Sometimes it’s not easy. You have to dream intentionally. Most people dream a dream when they are asleep. But to be a writer, you have to dream while you are awake, intentionally. So I get up early in the morning, 4 o’clock, and I sit at my desk and what I do is just dream. After three or four hours, that’s enough. In the afternoon, I run. The next day, the dream will continue. You cannot do that while you are asleep. When the dream stops, it stops forever. You cannot continue to dream that same dream. But if you are a writer, you can do that. That is a great thing, to keep on dreaming while you are awake.