You don’t do all the writing at your desk. You do it elsewhere, carrying the book with you. The book is your companion, you have it in your mind all the time, running through it, alert for links to it. It becomes your chief companion, in the real sense of the word. You can talk to it quietly. It becomes your sole companion. The writing may go on for ten days, as with Georges Simenon, or weeks, or months, or years. It’s the same thing for everyone. . . There should be no prohibitions to what you are allowed to think or imagine.
James Salter, Life Into Art, The Paris Review , Fall 2015