On the routine:
"Unless you're disciplined, all you end up with is a lot of empty wine bottles. All through my career I've written 1,000 words a day - even if I've got a hangover. You've got to discipline yourself if you're professional. There's no other way."
On writing synopses (from J.G Ballard: How I write in The Times, 19 Sep 2000):
I try to write about 1,000 words a day in longhand and then edit it very carefully later before I type if out. I have been known to stop in the middle of a sentence sometimes when I've reached my limit. But self-discipline is enormously important ý you can't rely on inspiration or a novel would take ten years.
I always prepare a very detailed synopsis before I start writing. Sometimes this will be anything up to 30,000 words in length. It's just me working out my story and my cast. I once did one for a book called The Unlimited Dream Company where the synopsis was longer than the book.
On archiving (Interview with Vale in RE/search 8/9.):
"I'm not very good on the archival side of things. I throw away my manuscripts. You've got to understand, I can't take all that stuff. I hate that instant memorializing - your used beer mats and used typewriter ribbons and tax returns - little shrines erected in some university library around the handkerchief in which Graham Greene blew his nose in 1957. ... I don't keep bibliographical information about me around - frankly it's of no interest to me whatever. [Kingsley] Amis told me that he'd kept not just the manuscript of the preliminary notes for Lucky Jim, but the pencils and pens that he'd written it with. I thought, Christ - this is the author, one of the original "Angry Young Men" who refused to join the system! That's life. Keeping the pens - that's going a bitnfar, isn't it?"
See also: JGB Quotes book.
More how we work.