In his preface to In The Heart Of The Heart Of The Country, William Gass writes about the creative process, and how he makes lists. Here’s one of his lists. I love this list. It’s dead-on.
1. Continue work . . .
2. Study the masters . . .
3. Do deliberate exercises . . .
4. Regularly enter notes . . . sharpen that peculiar and forgetful eye . . .
5. Take to sketching . . . details . . . exactitude . . .
6. Be steeped in history . . .
7. . . . the better word . . . the better word . . . the better word . . .
8. Figure it will be five years before any . . .
9. Wait . . .