Whether it’s just a recent hobby of yours or something that you seriously want to pursue, writing is a craft that takes real dedication and, beyond a penchant for good prose, you need to get hit by inspiration, as well. To tell the stories that people really want to hear, you need to be able to dig deep into the well of ideas to come with the unique, the interest, the never-before-heard, or even just a particularly interesting way of looking at a topic that might be plenty familiar already. However, where do you get inspiration for the stories that you write?

Your life experiences

One of the easiest ways to draw out your authentic feelings and thoughts to put some soul into your writing is to get personal with it. Thinking about people you remember, situations, and your emotions at the moment of their peak can make for some pretty powerful writing. You can even inject a dose of yourself into scenes that are entirely fictional. You might even want to use some memory tricks depicted at Forbes to help revisit memories you might have forgotten. Just be mindful if you have had any experiences in the past that you would, in fact, rather forget.

Get people watching

You don’t need to become a stalker to enjoy a little bit of casual people-watching. Grabbing a drink of coffee at the local cafe and looking out the window, you’re going to start finding your eye gets caught on people. Their demeanor, how they dress, and what they’re doing at the moment that you look at them can have you painting whole scenes in your head before you even know it.

Seek out some of the lesser-known stories

Being able to dig into some of the stories that people might not be quite as familiar with can go a long way. This might mean looking into some periods and locations lesser known through history, and there are a few great sites like Phreeque that can give you a good deal of insight into people, places, and happenings that you’re not likely to find in most history books. If you are depicting a real event or person, care needs to be taken to do it appropriately, but there’s nothing to say you can’t divorce the topic from its source to get more creative with it, either.

Engage with art ravenously

You should always be engaging with art to see what it stirs in you. It doesn’t just have to be narrative forms such as novels, movies, TV, and theater, either. Paintings, music, and even video games can have a powerful effect on emotions and can get your brain engaging with ideas in ways that perhaps you didn’t think they would, before. You can mix and match your tastes and inspirations from different media and even different mediums to create something that is wholly you. A well-rounded media diet should contain plenty of high-brow, classics, contemporaries, pop culture, and more.

Write, write, write

Most importantly, you have to get writing to get the creative juices really flowing. Make a habit of writing every single day, if you have not already. Even if you don’t have a story in mind, you can follow any of the story prompt websites out there like Writer’s Digest that can help you get started. The more you write, the more your mind gets used to rooting out ideas. Writing exercises can also help you bring up ideas that stick to you and make you want to revisit them again in the future, as well. You could also consult with a memoir writing coach.

Get up and moving

It might sound like it’s a piece of feel-good nonsense with no reality to back it up, but the simple truth is that the rush of endorphins that you experience through exercise gets the creative cogs turning and has you thinking in ways that you normally wouldn’t. There are plenty of writers who talk about making exercise a part of their routine for writing for a good reason. It’s good at helping you get away from the desk, seeing with a new perspective, and throwing together new ideas as a result.

If you’re ever looking for inspiration, then consider trying the methods above. You’re going to mix in a lot of thought and mix sources often to make sure that you create something that is adequately you, but it can be a thrilling journey to dream up something that feels like it was delivered to you by a bolt of lightning.