As a fiction writer, there are times when I find myself out of ideas.
I watch people. I listen to music. I become absorbed in various foreign language dramas. I binge various anime series. I read as much as I can. Heck, I even get a gaming session in once in a blue moon. Even with all of those various “hats,” in the back of my mind, I’m constantly thinking and creating and forming story fragments.
I sit back and just take in everything like a sponge. To me, the well of ideas—both good and bad—is infinite. If something doesn’t work for a project I have in mind, I stash it away for later. I’ve written a few things here and there (and have found myself embarrassed by them), but I haven’t thrown those stories and ideas away because I think they may be worked into a story later. Listening to music and reading just adds to that well. Aside from a few genres, I listen to just about anything, but what I really like about music is that it helps you visualize ideas. Instrumentals evoke emotions, and just as quickly, ideas form.
Reading fiction and picturing everything in one’s mind flexes the imagination and—as it has been noted—helps people sympathize. But while reading, I’m also creating and forming ideas of my own, just as if I were watching a show or playing an RPG.
The well never really runs dry. Inspiration never really “ends.” It’s something that is literally everywhere; we just need to keep our eyes and ears open, our mouths shut, and our hearts on our sleeves.