I look back sometimes over what I've written, and it seems I say the same thing over and over again, but in slightly different ways. It's funny because sometimes I think - 'Cool. My idea must hold water, as I came to the same conclusion from many different angles. Then other times I think ... 'Wow. I guess I have nothing else interesting to say'.
Usually ... Thankfully .... when that happens and ideas dry up, a question or a comment, a conversation or an off hand remark, will suddenly push the brain into gear again and the story continues.
Others are SO important to process, both as inspiration, but also as catalysts and checks.
Conversation and debate are what feed thought and exploration. Playing by yourself, especially if you never get out of your own comfort zone, might be interesting, but by it's nature is limited by your own narrow experience and imagination. You don't know what you don't know ... and it takes an influence OUTSIDE to find those places you never thought to look.
I was having a conversation with a friend and fellow martial artist yesterday, who commented on how nice it was to throw ideas around with someone so open minded, how so much more was possible when no offense was taken in disagreement. I said he must be open minded too, after all it's a 2 way process, and truly, all that is required for good conversation is listening and thinking (and replying) ... Agreement is not mandatory.
Kinda like good flow training ..... ;-)