If there's anything I've learned about trying to come up with new ideas over time, it's that you just can't force it. There are times when no matter what you want your brain to cook up for you, the oven just won't come on. When I hit a situation like that, I turn the stove on simmer. Think about it for awhile, and then push it into the back of the brain and focus on other things. If you let the clouds gather over that idea you need, the brainstorm eventually unleashes itself.
I must admit, sudden assaults from my muse are not as frequent as they were when I was younger. I'm of the belief that teenage hormones help to beget those 3 am moments when you wake up with a sudden idea that simply has to be written down. Every now and then I still get attacked like that though, and it's always a good feeling.
I have an old manuscript I've recently dusted off and started polishing up again. Back when I first wrote it (about a year before TGL), I stopped about two chapters before the end because I wasn't certain where I wanted to go with it. Then TGL captured my attention, and it went into hiatus. Now I'm working on it again and finding that I have a lot of refinements to add that I'm happy with, but that blank space at the end has been staring me in the face for two weeks, reminding me that when I get to that point, it will still be there, looming and waiting. Yesterday I was driving home from work with a nice warm latte. I wasn't even thinking about that story, when I received a visit from the gift muse. Found myself shouting "Yes! That's perfect! Just what I needed there!" at nobody in the car. Had to stop at Wal-Mart on the way home to grab a steno pad, so I could plan everything out before it leaked back out of my ears.
Made my day. My Lady Muse can be stingy at times, but when she does decide to visit, there's always fruit to bear.