These three unexpected things can help fuel your creativity: A good mood, some quiet time that’s all your own, and limits. Learn why, from performance expert Steven Kotler.

When you’re struggling to come up with a fresh sentence, concept or product, it’s too easy to think all the great ideas have been used up. Well, that’s not true, says marketer and author Seth Godin. So befriend your bad ideas — they’re your essential steps on the path to better.

We’ve all kept silent about painful things — whether they’re things that happened to us or things we’ve seen happen to others. By writing about them, we can start to defuse their memory and reclaim our agency, says writer Sakinah Hofler.

Turns out, it’s less about “teaching” creativity to children — and more about creating a fertile environment in which their creativity will take root, grow and flourish. Researcher Mitch Resnick, director of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT, explains how we can do this.

Being a writer is all about expressing your unique perspective with feeling and originality, not about having a huge vocabulary or getting published, says author Jacqueline Woodson. She shares a little of what she’s learned in the process of writing a lot (30+ books!). 

Attention fellow word nerds: Daily haiku-ing fired up my creativity, sweetened my days, brought me closer to others, and more, says TED Ideas Editor Daryl Chen.

Being confined to a bed for months brought isolation and unspeakable pain, but it opened up Nnedi Okorafor’s mind to a universe of characters, ideas and stories.