For me, it's almost always a place where I'm supposed to be doing something else.
Back when I was in school I lost count of the number of exam questions that prompted the following internal monologue:
I remember this. I know I remember this. We talked about it that one class. I remember because that was the day I came up with that story about the space traveling sisters. Man, I love that story. Couldn't stop writing it the whole time the professor was -- Oh. Damn.
Now, the second I step into a meeting? The wheels start turning. A training of some sort? The creative juices start a-flowing.
But I wrestle back the flood - leaving myself little notes that look like the ramblings of a madwoman - and do my job, ignoring the annoyed voices of the characters I'm thwarting.
They're always there when I go back, even if they try to snub me for awhile.
If I'm looking for a less inconvenient surge of creativity, I do one of two things - Bring my notebook to a restaurant or take a long drive.
The restaurant is for when I'm trying to get plot down. Not bringing a computer ensures no Internet distraction. And the location provides enough background noise that my mind doesn't try to fill the silence with the most annoying song I can think of, but is spread out among enough conversations that I'm not interested enough to listen to anyone. I've tried the TV at home as my background. No dice. I find myself walking away from the table to the TV, mumbling, "Well, does she say yes to the dress? Does she??"
Plus, restaurants serve food. A million points for them.
The car is for dialogue. I like to hear all sides of the conversations out loud. And doing this alone in a car greatly lessens the chance of someone breaking out the butterfly net. Generally, it just looks like I'm on a hands free. Thank you modern technology!
Bluetooth - Masking my mania since 2009*.
So, those are my creative hotspots.
Now I want to hear about yours.
*When I first got a hands free phone and realized the life-changing implications regarding the normalcy of having full conversations alone in the car.