Recommended: Recommended Reading: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Murakami also compares running and writing as ways to push yourself:

Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as well.

I love running because it can be solitary; I set my own goals. The only person I have to beat is myself, and likewise, when it comes to my own writing, I am my main critic. I learn from and welcome feedback from other writers, but in the end, I set my own limits. Being one writer among so many, in a competitive environment, it’s sometimes hard to keep this perspective. But whenever I pick up this book and turn to a random page, Murakami manages to say something simple about life, writing, and being human — and it’s these quiet moments of enlightenment I enjoy the most.