This is something that has intrigued me for a while now. I don't think ideas are necessarily the same as inspiration. Sometimes, ideas just appear out of nowhere, when I'm not even thinking about writing things.
I think that there are common ideas that float around at certain times and different people interpret them in various ways. For instance, in 2009 I was working on a thriller and in 2010, when I listened to a certain album by a rock band, I discovered they'd incorporated similar fears into their lyrics. Both of us had interpreted the same idea in an individual way.
So, where do ideas originate? Is there such a thing as the Muse anymore?
The more I've pondered this, the more I've realised that trying to find out where ideas come from actually stifles creativity. The closer I get to finding out who or what generates ideas in the universe, the less creative I become.
Thus I have decided to just let the ideas come to me. I won't try to discover how they reach me. I want to keep the creative spirit that's been set inside me!