According to a review commissioned by The New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, the following five elements are important for encouraging creativity:
1. Knowledge
a) Deep, extensive knowledge of the domain
b) Broad knowledge of many different areas
2. Creative thinking skills
a) Synthetic: Combining existing knowledge or understanding in new ways,
often through many attempts of which only a few are successful
b) Analytical: Ability to judge one’s own ideas
c) Practical: Ability to promote creative ideas
3. Motivation
a) Curiosity
b) Intrinsic interest
c) Perseverance (delayed gratification)
d) Willingness to take risks
e) Comfort with ambiguity
4. Metacognition
a) Explicit decision to be creative
b) Knowing about creativity (i.e., all of the above)
5. Environment
a) Non-controlling (risk taking and unconventional solutions rewarded rather
than sanctioned)
b) Non-threatening (intrinsic incentives vs. extrinsic rewards or threats)
Source: Adams, K. (2005, September). The sources of innovation and creativity. Paper commissioned by the National Center
on Education and the Economy for the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. Washington, DC: National
Center on Education and the Economy

Steven King, On Writing


“A strong enough situation renders the whole question of plot moot, which is fine with me. The most interesting situations can usually be expressed as a What-if question:

What if vampires invaded a small New England village? (‘Salem’s Lot)

What if a policeman in a remote Nevada town went berserk and started killing everyone in sight? (Desperation)

What if a cleaning woman suspected of a murder she got away with (her husband) fell under suspicion for a murder she did not commit (her employer)? (Delores Claiborne)

What if a young mother and her son became trapped in their stalled car by a rabid dog? (Cujo)”

Steven King clarifies the work of writing. A must read by all aspiring writers.