Feed the Muses
I am a fly by the seat of your pants, roll with the punches sort of gal. Living in the moment helps me to adapt on the fly when things don't go according to plan. Mostly, this works for me. But having a plan and, more importantly, sticking with it, is ALSO a good skill set to have.
Among the many things I have learned are that those slutty muses WILL give away your ideas if you don't act on them. Now, don't panic. Just because you have an idea does not mean you MUST act on it RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Rushing in is where you go awry.
Now, inspiration feeds inspiration, and once the ideas start coming, inspiration becomes the norm. The more often you feed the muses by heeding their call, the more often they will reward you with ideas. My original desire to create patterns was inspired by a very specific picture. Then I saw another picture and thought "Oh, I want to make that too." Then another. Now I have approximately 15 ideas for patterns floating around in my head. And the muses keep feeding me more.
This is where having a plan becomes vitally important. If I jumped up and started working on every single pattern as the idea occurred to me, nothing would ever get done. I would start a pattern, something else would catch my eye, and I'd drop my current pattern project to work on the new one. Live in the moment is great in specific situations (not everything will fit in the car? What don't we need for this weekend?) But have a plan to progress forward with ideas. Otherwise the ideas remain floating in the ether. And eventually, those muses will lose patience, and give your idea to someone else.
Should that happen, don't throw in the towel! Too many people, on starting a project and discovering that someone else had the same idea, lose heart and quit. Find YOUR angle. Use YOUR voice. How is your product different and/or better than what the other guy came up with? Be the standout, continue feeding the muses, and eventually, your voice will be as clear as Melpomeni.