Today I volunteered at my son's school to help run their book fair, sponsored by Scholastics. I try to volunteer my time with projects that deal with books. In the past, I've helped out at the library as a library assistant. I consider it research. It helps me determine what kids are interested in these days and what topics are popular. It also tells me what subjects are lacking. Knowing these things will give me topic ideas to write about.
So if you can, immerse yourself in libraries, bookstores, conferences, author visits, etc. Talk to the librarian and ask them what books they'd like to see more of. Talk to sales people at the bookstores and ask what genre is popular. Talk to fellow writers at conferences and build your network. Talk to published authors and ask them what steps have they taken to get them where they are today.
Surrounding yourself with books and writers is inspiring.