Anyone who works on prose fiction likely knows the strange feeling that writing can flow, and you can get a lot done quickly in a scene, but a narrative as a whole is painstaking. I've written most of the passages in my current novel quite quickly, with a sense of being in the real-time 'bubble' of the scene. Hearing the spoken dialogue at the speed those words are spoken, watching characters move across the landscape in the time it would take in the world. And yet it's taken years to get to the point I'm at.
From the article.
I’m not disheartened by the thought that what takes me years to write may occupy a reader for just a few hours. To have made, perhaps, a benign intrusion into someone else’s life for even such a short duration seems to me quite a feat of communication, and if that communication becomes for readers not just a means of passing those hours, but a time-suspending experience that stays with them well after they’ve closed the book and that they might one day wish to return to, then that’s as much as any novelist can hope for.