Don't loaf and invite inspiration; light out after it with a club, and if you don't get it you will none the less get something that looks remarkably like it.
Jack London, Getting Into Print
As writers, we get ideas all the time. That much all of us know. But there's something that I've learned after a long time of writing: All ideas are not inspiration, but all inspirations are ideas.
Ideas bombard us.
In fact, we can sit on our desk an think up a hundred in a few hours. I think of them as thousands of puzzle pieces with no idea where they go or how they fit together.
Inspiration is the picture of a completed puzzle.
Unfortunately it's highly unlikely that the picture will be lying around the writer's writing space. It's out there. Perhaps it's out there in a conversation you have with friends. Perhaps it's in a book. Perhaps it's in a single word graffiti'ed onto a bathroom wall (it has happened to me).
It will not come to you without you going out to get it.
I'm not saying that it will come to you just because you look for it. Most of the time, it will come to you when aren't looking. But keep that club handy just in case...
Where is the strangest place you ever found inspiration? Are you new to the hunt? Have you bumped into inspiration yet? How did it happen?