They say inspiration springs up from the most unlikely places. But Tracy O’Connor at the Ghostwriter Dad blog has found that gazing at a computer isn’t the best way to encourage creative growth. “Have you ever sat for hours, staring at your screen, hating yourself for procrastinating, but struggling to think of a single sentence to write? The blinking cursor mocking you from a blank screen might be the world’s worst place to search for writing inspiration.” As an antidote to a creative drought, O’Connor wrote about 34 unexpected places to find inspiration. Take a look at some of her tips:

1. Walk as much as possible. Sometimes you’ll tune out the world and let your thoughts roam free. Other times you’ll absorb the details you would never notice while imprisoned behind the wheel of your car. Either way, some of your best ideas and flashes of inspiration will come from walking and observing the world around you.

2. Visit the public library and lose yourself among the stacked spines looking for a single spark to start the crackle in your creative fire. Don’t worry if what you find isn’t relevant to your current project. You’re not doing research, you’re feeding your mind.

3. Eat or have a drink alone and people watch. Resist the urge to bury yourself in a book or your phone every time you find yourself sitting outside. Tune into your surroundings and take note of what’s around you instead.

4. Watch a foreign film or television show without subtitles or dubbing.
 Make up your own story and dialogue. You’re not trying to win an Emmy, you’re trying to tap into the natural flow of human emotion –– the same ingredients that can spark your ideas, or even better, help you become a great writer.

5. Visit or call elderly family members or friends. Ask them questions about life. What was life like when they were young? What were the main similarities and biggest differences? What is the most shocking change they’ve seen happen in the modern world? How about their biggest heartbreak? A single conversation could give you enough food for the soul to keep you writing with a full mind for a while.

To read the rest of her inspring article, please read: 34 Unexpected Places to Find Writing Inspiration (And Become a Better Writer) at Ghostwriter Dad’s Blog.