Several years ago, I took a workshop session about brain development and there was a ton of good stuff in it, but one of the concepts had to do with stress: we all know that stress causes a bodily response (eg: increased levels of certain hormones) and excess stress can cause you not to think as clearly as you might otherwise because you are vigilantly scanning your environment. The joke goes, “If you thought you had a good idea at work you didn’t.” Because, of course, you are stressed just by being at work. Your best thinking is in the shower, on your bicycle, etc.
Last year, for my birthday, my husband got me a tiny voice recorder that I take with me wherever I go; and wherever and whenever the muse strikes me (well, maybe not in the shower), I can capture not only my ideas / words, but the passion in my voice. It has been invaluable in moving my plot forward. Also, when my crit group said, “what happened to Meg at the end of the book,” then when I got an idea about it (which actually solved 2 other problems as well), I was able to capture it.
Last weekend was awesome for completing revisions on the book; next weekend will be even better: all the ideas are there!