Michaelangelo said, “The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”
I think writers are the living block of marble, and I think we have to find the courage to chisel away “superfluous material” in order to find the stories that are already there inside us. I know for me, once I found the courage to chisel away my fears of what others would think if I wrote a story about two women who fall in love with each other and their struggles, it poured out of me.
I don’t really have a specific answer as to how I come up with a story. I am the type of person who needs alone time, so I can ponder and reflect. When I do, that is when I usually get story ideas.