Haruki Murakami – How His Writing Style Has Changed My Life

I’d use an image of him from the internet, but I’m feeling a bit too lazy to search for one that’s royalty-free

Back in the days when I used to read voraciously, I’d stuck to some of the more well-known female authors like J.K. Rowling, Amy Tan, and Zora Neale Hurston. I’d loved their styles of writing, but within the pages of their books, I couldn’t seem to awaken to my own. Pair that with super low confidence in my writing abilities, it seemed impossible to pull out my true voice.
 
A book I was recently reading on writing had a list of quotes by famous authors and writers. Funnily, the list had Hayao Miyazaki as one of the authors of the quotes, but when I went to search for him on Amazon.com, Haruki came up instead. I’d typed the name wrong and so the algorithm must have decided that I needed Haruki more than I needed Hayao.

And the algorithm was right.

When I read the excerpts from some of his novels, I thought to myself, almost literally, “are we allowed to write like this?” I could’ve cried. The quirky, smirky, mystical, and salient voice that Haruki writes in is eerily similar to the voice that I often write my novels out in my head in. It was a voice that I translated for years into something I thought needed to be tamed and tempered to be able to withstand the world in which I sought to publish in.

He writes in a matter-of-fact, unapologetic kind of way, as if he’s telling the readers, “here’s what it is. You can take it or leave it.” And I was writing in a way where I was unsure how the readers would interpret it, sort of telling them, “I’m not sure if you’ll like this, but I did the best that I could to make it easy for you to read and understand. I’m really sorry if it’s not good enough!”

After reading his work, it was Haruki that gave me the confidence to write how I now write. Years of writing inauthentically were erased by Amazon.com’s silly algorithm.

🙏 Haruki Murakami, the dopest.

∞ Aminah Jamil

2 thoughts on “Haruki Murakami – How His Writing Style Has Changed My Life

  1. This is an enlightening post indeed. I too am often paralysed by fear of what I might sound like to other people, and this piece helped something click in my head. We all have our unique voices, and while it’s natural to want to do our best, we should never let perfectionism stop us from putting our work out there. Thanks for sharing, and wishing you all the best!

    Like

    1. It’s my absolute pleasure, Stuart! Courageous and honest people doing what they love and folks like us finding it and getting the courage to do what we love in a way that we love to do it…I feel like that’s the domino effect of our true purposes being made real out in the world. I wish you the best also! Shine bright!

      Like

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