One of the more peculiar, more semiconscious exercises I practiced, early in my fiction-writing career, consisted of reading record reviews in, say, Melody Maker, while pretending that I was actually reading a review of a new science fiction novel. I would later attempt to recall that novel, my sense of it from the review, as a species of writing-prompt.

William Gibson. Imaginative reading, recalling, repeating… Ben Franklin did the same thing to improve his writing as a teenager.