[She] was curious about my work. So I told her about my interviews with would-be starlets, about my piece on restaurants in Hakodate.
"Sounds like fun," she said, brightening up.
"'Fun' is not the word. The writing itself is no big thing. I mean I like writing. It's even relaxing for me. But the content is a real zero. Pointless in fact."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, for instance, you do the rounds of fifteen restaurants in one day, you eat one bite of each dish and leave the rest untouched. You think that makes sense?"
"But you couldn't very well eat everything, could you?"
"Of course not. I'd drop dead in three days if I did. And everyone would think I was an idiot. I'd get no sympathy whatsoever."
"So what choice have you got?" she said.
"I don't know. The way I see it, it's like shoveling snow. You do it because somebody's got to, not because it's fun."
"Shoveling snow, huh?" she mused.
"Well, you know, cultural snow," I said.
-- Dance Dance Dance, Haruki Murakami