John Gardner writes, in On Becoming a Novelist:
Catching on is important in the arts, as in athletics. Practical sciences, including the verbal engineering of commercial fiction, can be taught and learned. The arts, too, can be taught, uip to a point; but except for certain matters of technique, one does not learn the arts, one simply catches on.
If my own experience is representative, what one mainly catches on to is the value of painstaking -- almost ridiculously painstaking -- work.
Oh, boy! Is he right! ("Verbal engineering of commercial fiction"!)
And the very notion of "painstaking -- almost ridiculously painstaking -- work" is oddly exciting, sexy for the artist.