In this brief excerpt, Graham Greene describes the writing method that allowed him to produce a novel a year. It reveals a very disciplined individual who has learned to pace himself. One who writes five hundred words a day and stops mid-sentence, only to pick up the next day from precisely where he left off the day before.
In the evening, he reads the work written in the morning. He knows his mind will work in the background during sleep. He calls on his unconscious to counsel him because "...in those depths the last word is written before the first word appears on paper." He does not appear to be afflicted by writer's block in any way since, as he says, "We remember the details of our story, we do not invent them."
It's the Writer's Trinity: talent, method, and discipline.
"Over twenty years I have probably averaged five hundred words a day for five days a week. I can produce a novel in a year, and that allows time for revision and the correction of the typescript. I have always been very methodical, and when my quota of work is done I break off, even in the middle of a scene. Every now and then during the morning’s work I count what I have done and mark off the hundreds on my manuscript. No printer need make a careful cast-off of my work, for there on the front page is marked the figure — 83,764. When I was young not even a love affair would alter my schedule. A love affair had to begin after lunch, and however late I might be in getting to bed — as long as I slept in my own bed — I would read the morning’s work over and sleep on it. … So much of a novelist’s writing, as I have said, takes place in the unconscious; in those depths the last word is written before the first word appears on paper. We remember the details of our story, we do not invent them."