I agree with you (and Stephen King) about writer’s notebooks. A few months ago I wrote something on Medium about trying to get over thinking our ideas are precious. They’re not. Ideas have no value in themselves. It’s only what we do with ideas that ultimately matters.
Stories that hang around in the periphery of our consciousness and subconsciousness have the most vitality.
I heard an interview with King once on NPR where he said that writer’s notebooks are a great way to memorialize a mediocre story.
I love your description of writing as blue collar work. We need to get down and dirty with the words, not pretend that dreaming is the same as working.