... well maybe personal creative process. (hmm, same diff)
I suspect every writer deals with (or manufactures) a host of influences to inspire, retard, deflect, reflect and/or drive forward their story. Those factors seem to reverse polarity on some secret, irregular basis. And that's the good part.
For me, an image is often useful to inspire what is to come or to be inspired by what already is in mind. If of interest, take a look at the Story Covers album on my Haro James facebook account. Or not.
Then there is a reading and rereading of a favoured Arthur Rimbaud translation. But that is another discussion altogether …