The self-help industry is a billion-dollar market for nonfiction authors. It offers vast opportunities for creating information products, including inspirational and motivational articles for blogs, online and offline magazines, email newsletters, social media, anthologies, vlogs, print books, eBooks and podcasts.

Inspiration stories contain a motivating idea and assist the reader to feel good about themselves (and their life challenge) through tales of hope, promise and encouragement. Delivering a significant idea through a narrative story dates back to Aesop. Storytelling demonstrates in a way that personalizes the message for the reader, making it a powerful teaching tool. How you approach the core concepts within your narrative will strongly affect how effectively the story teaches your intended message. Inspirational stories speak to the reader emotionally because they present the possibility that change can happen. The story’s message must be accurate and follow a basic plot of a person (or animal) who endures hardship but comes out of it triumphantly. An inspirational story could involve a man who lost his son and finally has a second child after years of his wife’s barrenness. There is hope, and it triumphs.TIP:  Read prominent authors in this genre and learn with an analytical mind. Pay attention to the story’s structure.


As the writer, you must know your reader and their pain points. Let’s sub-divide topics for your target reader:

  • Life themes – School, college and university leavers, university life, young adult, dating, marriage, mid-life, parenting, unemployment, career advancement, retirement, grandparenting, etc.
  • Aspirations – Becoming successful financially, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, relationship-wise, in a career, etc.
  • Mental or emotional states – Stress, anxiety, mindfulness, happiness, failure, fear, clarity, success, compassion, guilt, hope, faith, love, and others

Messages and storytelling impact differently for various ages. The short animal stories with a simple lesson of Aesop work well for elementary-aged children but are less appropriate for teens and adults. Stories for teens and adults will impart their message better if they star human beings having realistic interactions with life issues.


To spark your creativity, here is a list of possible topics for inspirational writing:

Adversity – ageing – betrayal – change – rite of passage, e.g. retirement, pregnancy – family – death – despair – envy – fear – failure – heartbreak – guilt – grief – growing – adventure – simplicity – courage – childhood – darkness and light – circle of life – discovery – gratitude – friendship – forgiveness – humility – hope – loss of innocence – loneliness – leadership – kindness – memories – passion – oneness – patience – perseverance – purpose – rebirth – reunion – trust – transformation – solitude – vulnerability – wisdom

There are two types of sources for locating your inspirational topic:

1  If you’re using yourself as the starting point, you’ll need to explore how a specific idea will be transformational for others. The subject can be any concept nourishing your motivation for a long while, an approach that has allowed you to achieve a goal faster or to provide meaningful results.

2  If you aren’t sure which topic to write about, check out lists of best-selling books or the most-read articles via Amazon, newspaper best-selling lists, and the most-read articles published by popular sites like Medium.

To find out how you can write inspirational self-help stories, look at my author mentoring & coaching page.