does anyone have any other practical advice?
Yes - take notes. As you are reading and meditating, as you begin to put thoughts together, as questions arise, take copious notes.
You will revisit these notes later and hopefully draw inspiration from them - or you'll run across questions that you've since answered.
If you're reading the history books (Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, etc.) or the Gospels, read them a story at a time. Ignore the somewhat artificial chapter and verse headings. For example, if you're reading through Exodus, read the story of Moses' infancy first, which actually runs from chapter 1 into mid-chapter 2; or if you're reading John 6, there's no need to read the whole chapter - just read the story of the feeding of the 5,000, and the next day read the story of Jesus walking on the water, then read the bread of life discourse the next day.
If you're having trouble making out the literal and allegorical meanings, ask for help; that's what this forum is for. The moral application is somewhat more personal, but you do need a good literal/allegorical understanding in order to make a good personal moral application.