I was poking around Amazon, and wound up on a Neil Gaiman book page, and scrolling down I found his Biography. It's three sentences long, you can look up the other two sentences. The first one is the one that matters:
"I make things up and write them down."
That, ladies and gentlemen, is all. That's magic, the Philosopher's Stone, the Secret of the Universe. That's the nut and the nut shell. The entirety of everything, summed up and uncomplicated. This is what we do, each and every one of us, and all the work and practice and exercises and initiations and empowerments are all completely and totally about revealing this fact, and then making you really good at it.
Skip ahead, it saves time.
Make things up.
Write them down.