The informal definition: "Osmosis" is the process by which information or concepts come a person without conscious effort.
I can't tell you how many times I sat down at the computer last week and hoped this would happen. That all the words and stories that were inside of me would just flow out of my head and onto the computer screen, but unfortunately life doesn't work that way – at least not for me. I've come to accept that now.
I've had my crit partner's notes back for a week now and although I've looked at them, I haven't applied them to my book. I just keep looking at my documents sitting on my desk top, hoping that inspiration will spring, but I've come to the conclusion that inspiration doesn't spring unless your writing. It usually doesn't happen with the first sentence and maybe not even the second, but if I keep writing eventually I will get there.
Remember nothing happens by osmosis.
How about you? Do you find you have to be writing in order for inspiration to hit?