How to Come Up with Story Ideas

when you feel hopelessly blocked and utterly thwarted.

I am not going to torment you with a description of what you’re going through. We’ve all faced the blank page and come up with … nothing.

What follows is predictable. Procrastination. Urgency to binge (pick your poison). Isolation. Lack of bathing. Despair. Cheese breath.

Okay, I said I wouldn’t do that.

There is a solution. Actually, it’s in keeping with what you’re doing already.


But wallow in the opinions of people you detest. Think of a few polarizing topics you stay away from. Seek them out. Go to Quora, Reddit, YouTube, iTunes, Medium. Listen to podcasts. Read articles. Watch videos. Hunt them down. Absorb the side that’s against your view. Write down some contemptible quotes. Take names. Simmer. To reach a nice boil …

Negative Inspiration.

Devour the poisonous opinions you are violently opposed to, and the rhetoric which makes you sick to your stomach. Now … I dare you to have absolutely nothing to write about.

Pick A Fight.

You’re in a bad mood anyway. It’s a perfect time to choose your victim (one of the people you find particularly objectionable — not someone in your physical proximity). Choose one of the contemptible quotes and stare it down until you can’t hold back any longer.


Let the venom flow! Uncensored. Ungrammatical. Unreasonable. You have a good tantrum pent up inside. Hiss. Scratch. Spit it out.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Nobody knows better than a blocked writer how desperation feels. Do what I said. If it works, leave me an appreciative comment. If it doesn’t work, I have more tricks up my sleeve. Scroll down to find out what they are.

Take Your Writing to the Next Level

Helping you take your writing to the next level is a skill and an art. As a AWA Certified Creative Writing Teacher and a Gestalt psychotherapist, I’ve developed unique, creative ways for you to delve deep and find your true voice. Sign up for The Art of Journaling, free missives from me containing secrets of inspired, prolific writing and other deep, catalytic and, occasionally, amusing ideas. Find my most recent writing on Thrive Global, The Writer’s Cooperative, Be Yourself, Inspire the World, Adweek, Graphis and more.