If you're not familiar with TED, it's a non-profit, non-partisan group whose goal is to spread ideas through short talks. The first TED conference was held in 1984, and the focus was on the convergence of Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Unfortunately, that conference was not monetarily successful, and a second conference didn't convene again until 1990. That time, the stars aligned and TED took off.
The talks now cover the gamut of topics and are easily available on YouTube or on the ted.com website. Browse their library to find talks that might appeal to you. This is how I found the 20+ on my own list.
Here are my five favorites TED talks:
1) Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius, recorded in 2009, runs 19:09 minutes. This talk inspires me when I'm defeated by rejection or feeling like creativity has left me for good. The story she tells about poet Ruth Stone at the 10:12 mark gives me goosebumps.
2) J.K. Rowling: The Fringe Benefits of Failure, recorded at the 2008 Harvard Commencement, runs 20:58 minutes. The amazing author of the Harry Potter series explains how failure helped her find her way as a writer, and how imagination is of crucial importance.
3) Adam Grant: The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers, recorded in 2016, runs 15:25 minutes. The original thinkers that Adam Grant refers to in his talk are from the business arena, but I think the three habits he identifies can be true for writers as well. He gives me hope as a moderate procrastinator. (Yes, I'm writing this post on Sunday evening for a Monday posting!)
4) Matthew Dicks: Homework for Life, recorded in 2015, runs 17:46 minutes. This talk introduces a strategy for collecting story-worthy ideas by taking five minutes each night to reflect and identify story-like moments that happened that day.
5) Mac Barnett: Why a Good Book Is a Secret Door, recorded in 2014, runs 16:59 minutes. I have a serious mind-crush on Mac Barnett, and this talk captures his humor, intelligence, and passion about being a children's author.
Readers, do you have a TED talks that is your favorite? Please share the name of it in the comments below - I'd love to expand my list!