The creative process is a sport

Since I can remember I always did sports, especially team sports. I played American Football, Skater Hockey, Inline Hockey, Floorball, Soccer, Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. To work out physically is always a necessary compensation to working out psychically. Especially if you don’t earn your money with craftsmanship you need to balance the overspending.

In the last years my physically overspending got a lot neglected and I always felt a way of unsatisfied. But moving to another place is always a good reason to change your habits. So, within the first week in Sweden, I started playing Rugby and went running again. Of course I felt like sh*t after the first exercises, but the struggle was worth it. You feel great! Tonight I will join another Rugby training and tomorrow I will join the fitness center.

There is one thing which always fascinates me during sports: endurance. I am not bad in sports, especially in team sports. I think I can say that I have some sort of talent, not quite distinctive as a Michael Jordan or Franz Beckenbauer, but I am not bad in most sports. Unfortunately I could not find the sport yet, where I am so talented that I could be really achieving something big. So what else do I have to do to achieve at least something: practice. Hard practicing is always a pleasure. Especially when you mention the difference. But practicing good also needs two other things: focus, and endurance.

So, it has a lot to do with the creative process. I just stumbled upon the article at the99percent about Haruki Murakami, it is called Talent Is Nothing Without Focus and Endurance. Murakami compares the process of writing to the one of running. It is great how he brings these two things together.

“Most of what I know about writing I’ve learned through running every day. These are practical, physical lessons. How much can I push myself? How much rest is appropriate—and how much is too much? How far can I take something and still keep it decent and consistent? When does it become narrow-minded and inflexible? How much should I be aware of the world outside, and how much should I focus on my inner world? To what extent should I be confident in my abilities, and when should I start doubting myself? I know that if I hadn’t become a long-distance runner when I became a novelist, my work would have been vastly different. How different? Hard to say. But something would definitely have been different.” (via

Now I want to read his book. It sounds great. I know that Malte sees it exactly like me. He also loves sports. How about you? And do you see any comparison to the creative process?

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  • Junk_f

    I think that there are comparisons between sports and a creative process. Everytime I do sports I try to challenge my inner temptation for reaching better results. At the beginning of every workout I focus my aim and try to achieve it quicker, by lifting more weights or reaching longer distances.
    When I have to fix a creative process I feel the same way, because I challenge myself in regard to achieve my aim perhaps better or with a higher quality than I´ve done so before. I think by trying to push yourself from one peak to another, regardless of sports or a creative process, you will reach a peace of mind in the end of a day and be pleased with yourself.

  • Martin

    Mir war gar nicht so richtig bewusst, dass du so viel Sport, bzw so viele Sportarten gemacht hast. Vielleicht schaffen wir es ja, wenn du wieder hier bist, hin und wieder mal eine Runde Fussball zu spielen. Das fehlt mir schon etwas…

  • Markus Reuter

    @Junk_f Don’t know what else to say than: I totally agree!

    @Martin: Ja eigentlich habe ich immer Sport gemacht, vor allem Mannschaftssport. Wenn es so weitergeht, werde ich bestimmt dann in Hamburg fortfahren Rugby zu spielen. Ist einfach ein verrückter, cooler Sport. Aber ja, für ein Bisschen Kicken bin ich immer zu haben! Oder auch mal Basketball, oder oder…

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The creative process is a sport