Clive Thompson writes about how great ideas can have incredibly long gestation periods, as they roll around our heads and are augmented by bits and pieces of new information as we learn new things. He includes a great example of his own.
“Treasure your long hunches. Gather wool slowly, and patiently. Keep lots of notes about things you’re learning and thinking about, and don’t worry if you feel like you’re being digressive. If you find yourself reading up on something that seems like a weird side-distraction, let yourself go there. It might be your brain working slowly – very slowly – on a hunch that won’t reveal itself for another ten years.
“But when it does, it’ll be great.”