Writer’s block. One of the most frustrating cases that, not only stops you from writing but also pauses your mind and you feel like you can’t come up with any good feature story ideas.
It happens. Editors and writers at the most well-known publications, sometimes just don’t have good ideas for articles. But we are here to help.
In this article, we are going to give you all the inspiration you might need in order to create your next big story! Hopefully, by the end of it, you will have channelled your muse!
First, Find Out What Has Caused The Block
Sure, there are many ways to tap into your inspiration. Your inspiration will lead you to find the best feature story ideas. But the very first thing you need to do is figure out what blocked you in the first place. It might be a shock or even lack of motivation or stimuli.
Whatever it is, you need to figure it out. After all, if you know the source problem, you can find the solution more easily. Some of the many common causes include:
- Any form of anxiety
- Emotional fuel
- Motivational deficit
- Sleep problems
- or even something simpler like fear of rejection
No. Writer’s block is not incurable and there are many simple solutions to fight it.
Here are some basic tips to help you come up with many feature story ideas (either we are talking about magazine article ideas, newspaper article ideas, or anything in between).
1. People Around You
You would not even believe how much inspiration you can get just by interacting with other people. The best feature story ideas will come from people whom you didn’t realise before. Everybody has a story to tell, and there must be someone there to report it.
So, practice your listening skills and, every time you hear something interesting, take notes, and think about how you can create a story about it. It might not always be a huge scoop, but this simple conversation may give you some inspiration for a great op-ed.
A great professional who puts people at the center since all of her content is based on situations from her everyday life is Anna Akana. She might be a video blogger but she is also a writer and she writes and edits her scripts on her own. So, it counts, right?
2. Local Newspapers
Let’s just assume that you have visited your hometown or you have gone on a trip to a small city. The very first thing you want to do is grab the local newspaper. The best feature story ideas usually can be seen through every headline and layout you read.
Local newspapers have so much information about the areas they are covering that, no matter how big or small it might be, they can work as great inspirational resources for any writer or editor.
Everything starts locally, after all.
If, for example, a local newspaper suggests that in specific area crime rates have been reaching a record high, researching other areas too would be the wisest move you could possibly make. This would make a great reported story for a national magazine or a great national newspaper story idea which would feature all the country’s “danger” zones.
3. Niche Exhibitions and Shows
If your publication focuses on a specific industry, you have to stay relevant and up-to-date with all the latest trends in your niche. A great way to get familiar with all you have to know about your market is attending shows and exhibitions.
These are, by default, places where all the pioneers in any industry are coming together just to make sure that they brief everyone about new product launches, trends, and more.
4. Your Own Curiosity
Whenever something is happening, there is only one question you should ask yourself: Why? By doing so, you are basically giving yourself the fuel you need in order to broaden your spectrum and think out of the box.
Have you noticed a trend rising? Ask yourself why? Do you have the answer? Write about it.
If you are working at a travel magazine, for instance, and you’ve noticed a country’s tourism rates increase dramatically, you need to figure out why this is happening.
Many writers tend to stick just to the facts. Your “whys” will only help you go beyond.
5. Online Researches and Studies
Nowadays, there is a study for almost every single thing you can imagine. From the use of social media to human relationships, science just can’t stop giving us food for thought and inspiration.
Simply, type your niche and the word “study” on Google. This way, you will be able to find both solid sources (the studies themselves) and some great motivation to get yourself back on track.
6. Newsletters for High-Quality Feature Story Ideas
Yes. Successful magazines and newspapers require good stories. However, there are many times you might come up with a good story idea, and, simply, not be a good fit for your publication.
This is something that happens a lot. Many editors and writers often come up with great hit stories that have nothing to do the industry they write about.
So, make sure you subscribe to magazine newsletters relevant to your niche. This way you will have a good idea about what interests your market, and what other publications publish.
7. Journal Alerts
Also, another great tip is to subscribe to journal alerts.
There are many websites out there that offer really useful information in your niche(s). If you get notified about a recent, groundbreaking study, for example, or you get all of your industry’s breaking news delivered to your inbox, you can assign a time-sensitive story to a writer right away.
This way you are stepping up your game by being one step ahead of your competition.
There are currently more than 570 million blogs active. No matter how good or bad their content might be, they definitely provide some food for inspiration to generate great newspaper stories ideas. If you come across an interesting story in another magazine or on another website, make sure you try and follow-up.
How have things changed? Is this story still relevant today? The power of following-up is often overlooked. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake many other professionals in the field do.
Now, It’s Time To Shine!
Hopefully, by now, inspiration has already struck, and a couple of big feature story ideas are already in the works. But what about putting it into action, both in print and online?
Luckily, we are here to help. Do you have any questions or comments? Click here and contact us today!