My next step was to come up with an idea. Most people do this step first, but I usually start out only knowing what format I want to work in and then come up with the image. I call this the "Talk to me!" stage. After staring at the material for a while, (It varies from a few minutes to a few hours) I rolled out a long sheet of tracing paper and roughed in my design as it would be seen printed. (Everything you do is backwards when it is printed.) I then turn the tracing paper over and transfer the image to the linoleum. I spend a lot of time creating the design before carving the first part. This takes me usually a couple of days to get it to where I want. My last stage before carving is to go over my pencil marks with a sharpie or some other permanent marker.