Test it out:
"puts so much writing so close at hand" -- Google finds nothing.
"so much writing so close at hand" -- nothing.
"so much writing so close" -- nothing.
"writing so close" -- 51 hits. Not much really for three common words.
"by writing a phrase longer than three words" -- nothing.
"a phrase longer than three words" -- nothing!
"longer than three words" -- 343.
"He fends off despair" -- nothing!
"then you can find out how it's all been said before" -- nothing!
"find out how it's all been said before" -- nothing!
"how it's all been said before" -- only 5.
Don't you find this amazing? (Only 15 hits, for that, by the way -- nearly all from repetitions of the same joke.)
UPDATE: Googling to check the originality of seemingly ordinary phrases can prove addicting. I just Googled the title to this post -- 26 hits -- and discovered it in a translation of Turgenev's "A Sportsman's Sketches":
'Well, suddenly it seemed to me that I was in love with Linchen, and for six whole months this impression remained. I talked to her, it’s true, very little—it was more that I looked at her; but I used to read various touching passages aloud to her, to press her hand on the sly, and to dream beside her in the evenings, gazing persistently at the moon, or else simply up aloft. Besides, she made such delicious coffee! One asks oneself—what more could one desire? Only one thing troubled me: at the very moments of ineffable bliss, as it’s called, I always had a sort of sinking in the pit of the stomach, and a cold shudder ran down my back. At last I could not stand such happiness, and ran away. Two whole years after that I was abroad: I went to Italy, stood before the Transfiguration in Rome, and before the Venus in Florence, and suddenly fell into exaggerated raptures, as though an attack of delirium had come upon me; in the evenings I wrote verses, began a diary; in fact, there too I behaved just like everyone else. And just mark how easy it is to be original! I take no interest, for instance, in painting and sculpture.... But simply saying so aloud... no, it was impossible! I must needs take a cicerone, and run to gaze at the frescoes.’...What a moment of ineffable bliss! Now, if you'll excuse me, I must needs take a cicerone.