One of the most mysterious parts of being a writer is finding the inspiration for your next story. Sometimes a bestselling idea will hit you out of nowhere, but more often than not you have to go out into the world and seek inspiration. But where do you go? And how do you do it?

These are some of my tried and true ways for finding inspiration as an author that will help you discover your next great story!

Travel. I know, I know. We can’t exactly travel the way we used to right now. But traveling doesn’t always have to mean going on a big vacation. Spend a Saturday taking a short road trip, or explore a state park nearby that you’ve never seen. When you take the time to consider where you can go, you’ll probably be shocked to realize how much of your own backyard you’ve yet to encounter, and new experiences are great creativity starters!

Talk to strangers. If you’re looking for a story, think about how many of them live inside the people we mindlessly walk by or stand in elevators with. When you reach out and ask something as simple as, “How are you?” you have the potential to unlock dozens of stories you didn’t know existed.

Read books. Reading a well-executed book, or a poorly written book, can give you so much inspiration as an author. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t work, and how someone else pulled off something you want to do.

Spend time alone. Whether you’re going on a walk or taking a bubble bath, spending time alone with your thoughts will give you time to think and create. They say one of the best places to brainstorm is in the shower! When there are no distractions, you can spend time thinking, brainstorming, and reflecting on all the things you’re interested in and curious about, which can lead to a story idea.

How do you find inspiration for your stories? Let me know in the comments!