I’ll start pointing out that this probably isn’t good “how to” advice at least not in a direct way. But people often wonder how a writer comes up with story ideas and sometimes the “training” to think creatively comes in unpredictable ways.
I’m prone to motion sickness. I can get seasick in a rocking chair or on a swing set. Growing up, we took lots of car trips and I spent lots of time with my eyes closed trying to focus on anything to keep my mind off being car sick. I was also an avid reader, but attempting to read in a car wasn’t a good idea. So, I told myself stories. Lots and lots of stories. They weren’t polished stories by far, but over the years anything spotted outside the car window became fodder for a story.
I still suffer from motion sickness, but fortunately not when driving myself. But the day job always involves a commute of some sort. These days it’s under 30 minutes. But that drive time is always a great time to think about story ideas. Trust me, it’s less distracting than the people I see chatting on the cell phone or texting while driving. Or the person who was actually reading the last Harry Potter book by propping it on the steering wheel while driving down the interstate.
Now, I don’t recommend learning how to become seasick as a way to seek your muse, but there is a lesson I’ve learned from it. Inspiration can’t always be planned but sometimes you can plan to allow yourself some unplanned thinking. Time to let your thoughts drift and not to worry about forcing the direction. If you have trouble letting your thoughts wander, meditation classes, yoga and other activities can help. I’ve found weeding the garden is a great time to let my thoughts drift and story ideas to surface. Besides it’s much more pleasant than car sickness.