I totally agree with Jyotsna Sreenivasan about the time needed to let story ideas percolate. (Remember our parent’s old coffee pots – percolators – that had that little glass nob on the top that, as the coffee was brewing, it would spirt up into that little glass nob. It told the coffee drinker that their morning wake up was brewing.)
I’ve even heard a writer friend say she goes to bed purposefully asking a story question, looking for sleep to help answer the question. Some people like to take walks outside to let the great out there push out the cobwebs to let other ideas in.
I personally haven’t had sleep or walks help me much. I generally get ideas after I’ve read, listened to, or watched particularly good writing. It doesn’t have to be anything related to what I’m writing about, because all good writing resonates, and it will remind me of how to make my own writing resonate too.
But most any time away from the keyboard or writing pad will help your mind mull over your writing without you even having to think about it directly.
Setting an idea or draft aside for “percolation” allows the brain’s subconscious to arrive at insights while we’re busy with something else.