For me, my inspiration can come from a lot of different things, and processes can take many shapes and manifest in different ways. I feel like it’s a bit hard for me to really point out anything specific, but I’ll give you some ideas that come to me as I write this.
A lot of the time, a sound comes first, especially recently where I have been writing tracks that are more than anything intended to stand alone (singles, if you will). Normally I start with a sound, and then I find an application for the sound that I think is interesting or compelling in some way (for instance a melody, chord progression, pattern, drone, or whatever I feel like the sound is suited for). Once I have this I tend to add layers bit by bit, until I have something like a loop. I usually then try to do a rough arrangement with it (I normally refer to this as the song’s skeleton). Normally I just experiment with expanding these ideas until I feel like I have something cool and interesting
I do however sometimes I draw inspiration directly from a series of feelings, emotions, events, or even places or environments. These work (for me) tend to be more fulfilling, challenging, and personal, and while singles are great, I have always been a big fan of longer format bodies of work (full-length albums), especially when the tracks are written in such a way that they each add something unique to an album (one that always comes to mind is The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails). In this case, I write tracks less to be consumed on their own and more to fit into a place on an album where they are (I feel) best experienced when digested as a whole with the rest of the body of work.
For instance, in 2012 I released an album under my old moniker called Effects Of Isolation. It was meant to give the listener an insight into my negative feelings and experiences at the time, as well as (I found out) provide me an outlet with which to process them. Each song came about by experimenting with sound that I thought was interesting, but it was also important to me to make sure that the track fit the theme and had a place amongst the other tracks. This is still my preferred way to produce music, but I have also been enjoying the process of writing singles and tracks where I am emotionally detached and am free to explore ideas in an unhindered fashion that I wouldn’t normally when writing about a concept.
I thought about giving you a brief breakdown of the above-mentioned work I did years ago, as I think it could perhaps provide inspiration and insight, but I feel like I’m starting to sound like a bit of a narcissist so I’ll spare you (and anyone else viewing this thread) the details. I hope that answered your question.