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The value of keeping notes

I subscribe to the theory that novelists are simply craftsmen. They are neither anointed nor born with perfect pitch and the innate ability to create a novel without gathering needed writing skills. The vast majority of those skills are merely small techniques you will discover, hear about, or learn by trial and error.

It is the use of our language that allows us to turn a novel, a continuing fictive ribbon. Mechanically we create a negative – like a photographer used to do. We form a mental picture in our heads as we visualize a scene unfolding. We smell the smells, hear the words and noises, tastes, and flavors. We feel textures, and see the characters act out their lives in our mind's eye. It is the manuscript page with our words on it that serves as our negative. Once read by the reader, the same picture and sounds are transferred to the reader's mind's eye.
How you do this is by using a bushel basket of small hand tools – small writing skills and techniques you will learn along the way. Everything you read, everything you write, and everything you hear in writing classes or workshops will offer those tools, demonstrate their use, and show examples.
I'd recommend (along with never stopping when it comes to studying your craft) that you create a file or notebook that is simply "Writing Notes." In it, start stuffing little tricks, writing recommendations, techniques, methods, and even reader manipulations you pick up along the way.
Then, some night when you are avoiding writing because you won't admit you aren't prepared to sit down to do this as productive avoidance: Organize your notes. You are going to hear several of the same small writing skills and recommendations many times from many sources. Your notebook, like mine, will find itself dividing into often visited topics reoccurring again and again in novel writing courses, lectures, conferences, and workshops: Point of View, Characterization, Conflict, Plotting, etc. Start sorting things out. Just don't over-organize your notes.
I promise you that keeping these notes, organizing them for your ease of access, and continuing to add to your them will pay off over and over again. There will be hundreds of times when you are stumped over one of these issues – blocked and stressed out over some small writing problem. Go to your notes and read entries you have collected under that topic giving you trouble. I guarantee you will find the solution to your problem, setting you on fire to get to the keyboard to unblock the jam.