One of my favourite things about having a writing partner is the process of collaboration. She pitches ideas, I pitch ideas, and we go back and forth, mixing and matching until we find a story that works.
But if you work alone, you don’t need to feel limited.
If you read a book and find inspiration in the characters, plot, or language, you can collaborate. Take what other authors offer you in their books and build on it. Copy, transform, or combine it with other authors or your own ideas.
Similarly, treat the whole world as a collaborator. You hear a funny story from a friend, which you combine with a reading classic, and then add a mix of your thoughts, emotions, and memories into the mix, and suddenly you are collaborating with the whole world.
Never feel limited by what the world offers you. And if you don’t have it, go out and see what you can find. Never limit your options.