Rob Kistner recently posted on his blog about how he evokes his writing muse and invited other bloggers to share their thoughts on this. So here are some of my ideas:
I have a big box full of ideas, phrases that have come to me, unfinished poems, ideas for topics for poems. Whenever I am stuck for ideas or whenever I just want to let my ideas wash around my head a bit, I browse through this box.
I also have a big box of cuttings from magazines etc, interesting pictures, details from pictures etc. These are mostly to use in collage, but sometimes a picture or a completed collage inspires a poem.
Whenever I am out walking, whether in the built up areas of Edinburgh, or in the green parts of the city or somewhere else entirely, I try to pay attention to everything I see and make notes on things that strike me as interesting. Nature is a huge source of inspiration for me.
I try to write ideas down as and when they come to me. However I have found recently that thoughts can simmer in my mind for a few hours or even a couple of days and develop into the beginning of a poem.
I write a lot of haiku, some of them aren't very good but haiku offer an excellent way of capturing a moment and honing my observational skills.
I read a lot of poetry so that my mind is overflowing with it. This means I am thinking poetically and because I read so many different poets, I am not unduly influenced by any one.