Finishing an online class (Character Voice and Setting) with Dean Wesley Smith and he offered a piece of advice in the final video. When you are out in public, pay attention, watch people, what they do, what they say, how they say it - and then, think to yourself, "How would I write that?"
Dean runs the class over a six week period and imparts a ton of really useful craft advice while simultaneously shifting your perspectives on both writing and people. It a tough class, and yes, there's homework. I only recommend taking it if you want to become a better writer and want someone to give you specific advice on what your screwing up and why. On a good day though, you might get a note that says you just nailed the assignment.
I also recommend note taking. Lots of information there and I've watched some of the videos three and four times.
If you are interested in Dean's classes, head over to his website. The man is incredibly prolific so there's always new content there.
In the meantime, I'm going to get some work done, go for a splashy run in the rain, and then, to the store. Shopping for dinner will take a little longer. I expect to get distracted as I wonder to myself, How would I write that?
And then figure out why.
And how I could tweak or twist it.