But the principle of constantly expanding your experience, both personally and vicariously, does matter tremendously in any idea-producing job. Make no mistake about that. Another point to encourage you. No doubt you have seen people who seem to spark ideas—good ideas—right off the “top of their heads,” without ever going through all this process that I have described.
Sometimes you have only seen the “Eureka! I have it!” stage takes place. But sometimes you have also seen the fruits of long discipline in the practices here advocated. This discipline produces a mind so well stocked, and so quick at discerning relationships, as to be capable of such fast production. Still, another point I might elaborate on a little is about words. We tend to forget that words are, themselves, ideas. They might be called ideas in a state of suspended animation. When the words are mastered the ideas tend to come alive again.
— A Technique for Producing Ideas by James Young