This morning at work I read some Murakami, and realized I’ve been copying his style without ever actually having read him before. Because I copy other writers who clearly read and copy Murakami, and also Bukowski, who I also don’t read. Don’t need to. The good stuff will get to you anyway. It’ll find you, even if it has to get filtered through other writers, writers who are shitty, on its way to you. It’ll trickle down and find you and hook you, even if you never read it. Even a limp imitation of it is enough to inspire.
So, I guess that’s the aspiration, creatively speaking.