One of the most fun and most difficult parts of being a writer is finding 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 a writer that’ll help you discover your next great story!

Travel. I know this sounds like the most luxurious way to spend your time as a writer (don’t we all secretly want to go on a trip to Tuscany to find inspiration for a book?) but travelling doesn’t always have to mean going on a big vacation. Spend a Saturday taking a day trip to drive around as much of your state as you can see, or even just spend a day in a city nearby that you’ve never explored. 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 live inside of 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 a writer. You’ll learn what works, what doesn’t work, how someone else pulled off something you want to do. Just be sure you’re not plagiarizing anything a fellow writer has written.

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

How do you like to find inspiration? Let me know in the comments!