Whenever I don’t feel confident about my writing I think I should read this extract from Murakami. It’s comforting to know that even the most popular writer in Japan has his insecurities. What he says strikes a chord with me. I’d rather a few people love my work than a hundred who just think it’s ok. People are idiosyncratic. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and so on. Cliches, but true.
For instance, managing a bar, I have a lot of customers every day, and not everybody necessarily likes my place, or more accurately, just a few of them do. But strange to say, you can manage to carry on your business if one or two customers out of ten really like your place and if they wish to “drop by this bar again.” Sometimes you can have a better result when only a few out of ten really love your place rather than when eight, or nine customers merely feel that “it is not bad.” This lesson came home to me, while I was running my bar, through the pains as if to have all the bones in my body crushed. Even when many people speak harshly about my book, I can believe, firmly and in the daily sense brewed through my own experiences, that it doesn’t matter so long as one or two of them intuitively understand what I want to express. It became an invaluable lesson to me. Without these experiences, it might have been much harder for me to live as a novelist and some malicious comments on my book might have disturbed my own pace.