Inspiration always strikes at the weirdest places for me. I know it probably has to do with the mind ticking over in idle gear, allowing thoughts from the subconscious to bubble up. Or I’m working at my day job when solution the for another one presents itself. The one that is also the least common for me is just as I go to sleep
I admit that I’ve not got the world’s best sleeping schedule. The ‘get up an hour early to write’ advice never worked for me. I’m usually up late typing frantically, and have to be up early for work. So when I lay down, I’m out for the count. But on occasion, a thought will pop into my head that sends me scrambling for my phone to type in a few key words. I hope and pray that I am typing the right words that will spark memory when I have a chance to sit down and write it. I had one last night about a story I’m co-writing with a friend that solves how to introduce my characters to hers. I also pray I’m not mangling them enough so autocorrect takes over and I lose the idea completely. I’m still puzzling over what could have been corrected to “carrots buzzard mime.”
Other ideas present themselves while I’m at my day job or working on a different story. My day job involves a lot data entry, so I’m paying attention to numbers on cards and fingers on keyboard. It’s enough focus combined with enough boredom that some interesting ideas percolate out of my subconscious. I’ll stop long enough to scribble out the basics of the idea, and snap a picture of it with my phone to make sure I have a copy of it when I get home. I had that happen this week at work, only to forget to save the photo, and left the original paper at work. Fortunately I remembered it well enough to rewrite it when I got home.
Most often I get my ideas while I’m brushing my teeth, staring in the mirror. I’ve talked about my toothbrush moments before. These are my most common ideas.
I also have one-off ideas at random moments, like the hummingbird I spotted in late November that has inspired a short story about an alien invasion. I’m also thinking about a story about shapeshifters who lose control of their abilities when drunk, based on me misunderstanding the name of a bar. Inspiration for stories can be all around you, if you are open to it.