I'm not sure if this goes for other people who find words follow them everywhere they go, but for me, half the writing process seems to be finding things, which inspire me.
Now much of the time, my characters inspire me by telling me their stories in the dead of the night. Other times, it might be the smell of fresh-brewed coffee, a conversation overheard while waiting in line, an old song playing on the radio, and sometimes, other pieces of literature. I never know when something might flip a switch in my brain, but somehow, it's there. While I'm driving. In the shower. Listening to boring lectures on Western Civilizations. And most often, in the few minutes before I'm about to fall asleep--i.e. the most inopportune times. And yet, I am able to find (or rather stumble upon) things, which inspire me to fall into a world much different than the one I usually inhabit; a world I absolutely love!
Today I decided I would try finding something to inspire me, because I wanted to figure out a piece of the puzzle, which will be extremely important in Book 4. Of course I had an idea what would happen, but after sifting through what I already had in my head, I did a quick Google refresher, and just by doing this, everything I needed appeared. Needless to say, these kinds of experiences are strange, and make me a more productive writer. I'm so happy I finally have a documented process of how things are going to progress and unfold so my frazzled mind feels a little less crazed, and more at ease.
I guess the lesson in today's experience is to look at the simple things. Instead of constantly waiting for a brilliant idea to strike, do something that inspires you. Go to an art museum, flip through a magazine, read a book, watch popcorn in the microwave. Whatever it is, let go, and see where your mind takes you.