It is 4:00AM.
Not 3:59AM or 4:01AM but 4:00AM on the dot.
The desk awaits him, like a miniature boxing ring with pencils; talismans; a bobblehead figurine placed strategically. He will spend five or six hours, wrestling with ideas and words. On Haruki Murakami’s desk sits a red and white mug – the Swiss flag, a souvenir from a trip – full to the brim with freshly brewed, aromatic coffee.
Now, to the outsider, it might seem somewhat crazy – and somewhat sadistic – to wake up at 4:00AM in the morning to write but this is one of the sacrifices a writer must make. Contrary to popular belief, writing isn’t a whim but a discipline. Structure is key.
Before the writing begins, out of the ten thousand or so LP records, one is chosen. Jazz music becomes background noise as Murakami picks up a pencil or, depending on the day, begins to tap out a rhythm on the keyboard as he begins to write.