Ronan Bennett on the pleasures of writing

I am not a tortured writer. Sometimes the writing does not go well and I can feel frustrated and disappointed with myself. Sometimes I do not feel like writing and sometimes I lose faith in what I’m writing. But I take a pretty robust view about all this because I tend to believe it will become good eventually. I’m not sure I would describe as pleasurable the actual process of writing, even when it’s going well, but when I know in my bones that I’ve written a good book, like The Catastrophist or Havoc, in Its Third Year, I do certainly feel on a high. Good reviews please me, but nothing like as much as meeting readers who tell me they were moved or provoked by one of my books. To enjoy a certain level of public regard, the support of publishers and to be financially rewarded – if this is not a pleasure it’s at least a rare privilege.

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