I've made up stories all my life. Like many writers, I started out as an avid reader, got into writing by concocting adventures for other writers' characters (my first attempt at a novel-a ghastly Star Trek story-served the important function of causing me to teach myself how to type), and progressed to creating my own completely original fiction.
Being a voracious reader is a key part of a writer's development. Some of the things I read voraciously when I was younger were:
Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings (over and over and over)
Edgar Allen Poe
Robert A. Heinlein's early novels
Anne McCaffrey's Pern books
Georgette Heyer's Regency romances
Some of the things I read voraciously now are:
Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series
Janet Evanovitch's Stephanie Plum novels
a lot of non-fiction research
way too much stuff on the Web
Also like many writers, I am easily distracted from the throes of creativity by my numerous pastimes, which include gardening, going to tea, making music, cooking, digital photography, role-playing games with my writer buddies, and all sorts of card games, from bridge to poker.