Sorry and after all that blathering blabber, I forgot to ask my question(s):
Can you please share what book(s) you have extreme envy that you didn't write yourself?
Also, I would love to know other than research, reading, asking questions and being curious and thoughtful, is there anything you do mentally to prepare, meditation, exercise and anything about your routine?
There is a whole library of books that give me an inferiority complex: Books that are beautifully written and meticulously plotted and (yes) preternaturally wise. Some of them are by Franzen and Tartt; others are by Fitzgerald and Tolstoy. These are books that I love and reread -- and leave me moved as a reader and (to answer your question) envious as a writer.