The author of Norwegian Wood has a new novel out, a nod to George Orwell's 1984, called 1Q84. I came across this interview and he makes a lot of interesting points, about being a writer and about being a person - my favorite being that you have to know what you love:
"So, even though I was an only kid, I could be happy because I knew what I loved. Those three things haven't changed from my childhood. I know what I love, still, now. That's a confidence. If you don't know what you love, you are lost."~Haruki Murakami in an interview with the Guardian's Emma Brockes
Another point he makes that resonated with me is a writer must be physically and mentally strong:
"Every day I go to my study and sit at my desk and put the computer on. At that moment, I have to open the door. It's a big, heavy door. You have to go into the Other Room. Metaphorically, of course. And you have to come back to this side of the room. And you have to shut the door. So it's literally physical strength to open and shut the door. So if I lose that strength, I cannot write a novel any more. I can write some short stories, but not a novel."~Haruki Murakami in an interview with the Guardian's Emma Brockes
Definitely go check it out.