I use to think, if I had more time, I could write more. Then I went on unemployment and the the ideas dried up. So strangely enough, I am more inspired when I am busy. That makes the pocket notebook crucial. Meeting people, learning new things. They are necessary for interesting writing. Lock the festering mind away and it returns to a state that breeds dis-ease.
One last thing: there is no story like the one scratching itself on the bus next to you.