Happy Confinement

Sam Andersson in his classic New York Times Magazine article from Oct 21, 2011 describes Haruki Murakami’s writing schedule as follows:

For 30 years now, he has lived a monkishly regimented life, each facet of which has been precisely engineered to help him produce his work. He runs or swims long distances almost every day, eats a healthful diet, goes to bed around 9 p.m. and wakes up, without an alarm, around 4 a.m. — at which point he goes straight to his desk for five to six hours of concentrated writing. (Sometimes he wakes up as early as 2.) He thinks of his office, he told me, as a place of confinement — “but voluntary confinement, happy confinement.”


Murakami, in his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Writing describes his writing life in even greater detail. I highly recommend both the above article and this book to anyone writing for a living - even if you’re not a fan of his novels or short stories.

I haven’t read all of his books - not even close to (so far my favourites are 1Q84, A Wild Sheep Chase, and his Birthday Stories). But a clipping of this quote from the New York Times has been hanging on my doorframe for a long time now. As a reminder to myself. As a role model.

Morning Radio

There’s no better way to start the day than hearing one of your songs being played on the radio! It’s fun to hear the song in context too.

Life in a Day has been the last single off Super Constellation. It’s always been one of my favourite Marvin tracks. I can remember scribbling an early version of the lyrics into my pocket notebook on a train ride to Zürich.

I can also vividly remember recording my guitar parts in the recording studio in the Cotswolds. I played the studio owner’s vintage Les Paul - a gorgeous but heavy guitar. Good memories!

Radio SRF3 playlist on Wednesday morning

Radio SRF3 playlist on Wednesday morning

Podcasts #1

I really love listening to podcasts. I’ve been listening to my favourite hosts for years now and in some cases from episode one. A few of these are NPR’s All Songs Considered, Freakonomics Radio, Song Exploder, HBR Ideacast, Tape Op, And the Writer Is…, and The Daily.

Naturally I’m always on the lookout for new ones. Here’s a brand new one called American Idiots Abroad. It’s by two Americans living in the U.K., Megan Sola-Guinto and AJ Marks. I them both on a recent writing trip in London. I even co-wrote a song with Megan. Both are fantastic musicians and songwriters and they’re both so much fun to be around with. So I might not be completely unbiased here, but I found their first available episode hilarious, entertaining, and insightful! A big shout out to AJ and Megan.