ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Get Past Writer's Block

Updated on August 12, 2016
Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

A professional career coach, Marcy has helped hundreds refine their resumes, improve their interviewing skills, and advance their careers.

How to Find Good Ideas for Stories

Writers' Block? Here's How to Find Story Ideas!

Has your brain stalled out on ideas for writing? Are you frantically looking for ideas for a writing contest, or something to freshen up your blog? You could be going about it the wrong way, and you may well be overlooking some great topics that are right under your nose. In any given day, you might encounter several (even dozens, in some cases) things that can inspire a story or article. The problem is, it’s sometimes hard to recognize potential stories. Here are some ways to get your creative juices flowing and go from a blank screen to an engaging article others will want to read.

A Writer's Tips on Inspiration

Where to Find Ideas for Articles to Write

How many times do you see something happen, hear a comment or experience something that makes you think, “Oh, I need to tell So & So about this!” If you just spotted something that might entertain or interest your best friend, spouse, Mom or Dad, or anyone else, for that matter, expand the idea a bit and see if it would be a good article. Did you hear an unusual story from a coworker? Did you see something that touched your heart or made you laugh? Maybe there’s a poem, story or interesting article in it.

What did you see while you were on the way to work, or church, or taking the kids to school? Did the flower salesman on the corner catch your interest? If you spotted something that made you curious, research it a bit and turn it into an article. Chances are, if it got your attention, it will be interesting to others, too.

Pay attention to your surroundings!

Find Writing Ideas in Your Own Neighborhood

What might be ‘old news’ to you because it's in your city or community might capture the imagination of thousands of others who live far away. People love the unusual, human-interest stories, adventure stories, how-to ideas and many other topics. If you’ve heard of something in your hometown, consider writing about it for readers beyond your local boundaries.

Do you have a neighbor who has a unique hobby? Does the local team have a heartwarming story? Did you see a brief news clip on a cute animal? Readers and web surfers want to see those stories, too!

Have you found your muse? Take this poll!

Do you struggle to find ideas?

See results

Write About Your Childhood or Past Experiences

Many very popular stories or articles have been written about something that happened years ago. If there’s a lesson in it, or if the story warms your heart, put it in writing. You can enrich the lives of others by recording them in an entertaining way.

Did you survive something challenging?

Self-help pieces and stories about overcoming challenges always attract readers. So many people have internal struggles; you can reach out to them and make them feel less alone by telling about your challenge, how you felt at the time, how you dealt with it or overcame it (or not), and what you learned from it. What do you know now that you wish you’d learned then? What advice or comfort can you give others?

Challenges come in many forms – some are life-altering situations such as a frightening disease, poverty, being fired or being the victim of a crime. Other challenges might be more subtle – were you incredibly shy? Did you grow up with a fear of speaking in public? Did you fail an important test? Did you work hard to learn a new sport or new skill? There’s a story in every minute of every day.

Change your Approach to Writing!

Perhaps you're trying to enter a contest or publish in a certain venue. Unless a personal anecdote or idea pops into your head instantly, you may be floundering for hours trying to come up with a way to fill your blank computer screen (or a sheet of paper, if that's your preferred way of writing). Change your strategy and come at it from the other side.

Rather than scratching your head for an idea that fits a venue (a magazine or website), start with the idea first and then find the right place to publish it.

Use the above tips to come up with ideas (you have a ton of them; you just don’t realize it yet), and then look for publications or sites that use that sort of content. You'll save valuable time by going about it that way. And you won't waste time by trying to retrofit and idea to fit a venue.

Did you see something interesting related to animals or pets? Search for venues that market to owners of dogs, cats, animals and other keywords related to pets.

Even if you don't find a venue right away, start developing the idea into an article or blog post. You'll find a good home for it, before you know it!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)