There are artists and writers who believe ideas are fed to them from “somewhere else”, a parallel universe perhaps, where these images and characters and stories truly exist.
Clearly, that “somewhere else” is a very vague concept and means different things to different scribes: it could be a religious concept, a spiritual one, or even tied in with scientific theory such as ‘brane cosmology’. Whatever your persuasion, writers who hold such beliefs say it is very important to allow your mind to be open to receiving these ideas – wherever they come from.
Personally, I’ve had moments when I felt plugged into a conduit, receiving stories, characters and ideas fully formed, all wrapped up and ready to go – though I hesitate to say if this was a spiritual event or just the way the brain works in creative mode.
And it is a rare enough event – I can never conjure ‘the writing rapture’ but if I write often it’ll roll around every now and again. And when it does, it’s a magical moment when stories and characters cascade.
All we can do is sit down to write every day and hope for the best – most days you’ll get coal but if you keep at it, the diamond muse will show up sooner or later.