Go see this post. I love it. It's perfect.
The thing about ideas is that they're not like the rubber I carve. I can't say, "I order them online in big sheets and cut off what I need. Here's the web site where you can get some, too!" I think of ideas as more like birds - they're around all the time, but the trick is to notice them and learn to identify them. Or perhaps a useful analogy is Sherlock Holmes's explanation of observation. In "A Scandal in Bohemia" he says, "You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear." In "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" he specifies the difference, "You can see everything. You fail, however, to reason from what you see." Observation, therefore, is not simply seeing things but paying enough attention to them to note their significance. A large part of getting ideas is similar: be observant enough, be aware enough, to notice those things that might make a beautiful piece of art or an interesting element of a story. Take nothing for granted.Well said!