I once struggled and writhed in agony over where story ideas come from. Anyone can learn how to interview, report, and structure a piece. But where does the premise for that story come from? That guiding light that takes you on a journey through people and places?
Eventually, I realized it’s not a matter of sitting at your desk and conjuring brilliance out of thin air. It’s about immersing yourself in the real world, getting out in the field, meeting people, and making calls.
You’ve got to position yourself wisely for those moments of discovery.
In a way, developing story ideas is much like how to get startup ideas (as stated in this brilliant read by venture capitalist Paul Graham), in that it can result from a series of hunches and “sparks” that coalesce over time.