……is to get involved with and work in theater.
As an actor, you learn to develop character – background, secrets, moments before – that lead to a richer performance and the constant discovery of new things. As a director, you learn how each scene works and flows together, with tweaking here and there to create a cohesive narrative. And, of course, there is the playwright, who puts the words in the mouths of the characters.
Building sets gives you a rough sense of how the play’s world looked. Adding props and furniture gives clues to the characters, their histories, their connections. Costumes and make-up show how characters might look in 17th century France, 11th century BCE Greece or Rome or Egypt.
Every aspect of theater can and will carry over into your writing. I’ve always found myself relying on my theater background not just for inspiration, but for ways to forward my story when the way seems blocked.
Also, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.