Here is a technique I use from time to time.
When I need to be REALLY creative, like when there’s a big problem to solve, and my normal process is not working… I go take a nap. But, I take a tape recorder to bed.
I lie down, holding the recorder. I begin to drift down to sleep. There is a space there, a zone, when you are close to sleep, but not sleeping… where you are still able to think about the problem at hand. When I get in that almost-sleep zone, I talk into the tape recorder. About the story problem.
One thought will send you to another thought, and the fact that you are in that near-sleep-zone makes you mind UNHOOK and be AMAZINGLY CREATIVE.
It sounds silly, but it works.
I lie there, drifting off to sleep, fighting the urge to fall completely asleep, talking and talking and going places that I never would be able to when fully conscious. Ideas flow and they are great ideas. Really great ideas.
Finally, I can’t do it any more and fall all the way asleep. When I wake up, I transcribe the notes. Some are pretty slurred, but understandable.
Last time I did it, I transcribed seven pages of single spaced notes. Some was useless junk. Some was staggeringly wonderful. Several huge problems had been solved. And I had no memory of any of it.
FYI, this is how Keith Richards wrote “Satisfaction.” Playing his guitar, getting sleepy, with a tape recorder running. At last, he fell asleep and when he woke up, on the tape, which he had no memory of, was a hit song.