Here are some facts about Philip Hensher:
He was among Granta’s 20 Best of Young British Novelists in 2003.
His 2008 novel The Northern Clemency was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Commonwealth Prize.
His novel Scenes From Early Life (2012) is told in the form of a memoir and has photos in it.
He writes with no disturbances. No phone. No computer. No television.
Looking at the photograph of where Hensher writes, it’s obvious that he doesn’t have a desk.
In an interview with The Guardian Hensher said:
“I’ve never written successfully at a desk – whenever anyone tries to give me a desk, it always fills up immediately with old bits of paper, and, after a week or two, I go back to writing on the end of the dining table, clearing it all up before dinner. Or, more often, just on the arm of the sofa…A sofa, a notebook, and the promise to yourself that in a couple of hours you can put Radio 4 on – that’s just the ticket.”
Photographer: Eamonn McCabe
“It [fiction] allows us to see the world from the point of view of someone else and there has been quite a lot of neurological research that shows reading novels is actually good for you. It embeds you in society and makes you think about other people. People are certainly better at all sorts of things if they can hold a novel in their heads. It is quite a skill, but if you can’t do it then you’re missing out on something in life. I think you can tell, when you meet someone, whether they read novels or not. There is some little hollowness if they don’t.”
Do you give yourself treats for having written for so many hours or so many words?