The Best TedTalks All Writers Must Watch

I first started watching TedTalks when my high school teachers began introducing them as classroom material. They accompanied lessons that took place inside my English classes and psychology courses. Each TedTalk speech added a fascinating perspective to that day’s classroom lesson.

TedTalk tosses boring videos and discussion topics out the window. TedTalk presents conversations worth engaging in and offers each audience member with an opportunity to explore and think further. Many TedTalks feature innovative discussion that could change the world and ripple it in the right way forward.

The topics of TedTalks are extremely varied, making it easy for anyone and everyone to find a video they would enjoy most. From science to business, technology, the world, the arts, and more, TedTalk truly does supply it all.

In many industries, TedTalk can be a worthy platform to study and discover its diverse voices. When it comes to content creators, especially writers, there are several speeches that many word-enthusiasts and story developers are sure to find appealing and beneficial to their writing life.

This list supplied below is meant to do just that.

Writing Colorfully explored and watched a series of TedTalk videos that focused on writing and the arts alike, pinpointing which videos are most worth your while to watch. Each video will inspire, guide you, and ignite the creative powers from within.

Grab a bowl of popcorn and can of soda, press play, and let the list begin!

THE BEAUTY OF BEING A MISFIT

Video Link: ted.com

About: Lidia Yuknavitch has always felt like the misfit in life. In this TedTalk, she speaks directly to anyone who has felt like a misfit and has struggled to find the space in which they believe they belong. After winning a trip to New York City, following a short story contest, she found herself dining in the same restaurants as famous authors and editors, questioning if she truly belonged. She finally learned an important lesson above giving her stories and troubled past a voice, that made her writing dreams come true and gave the word “misfit” beauty.

The Lesson: Writers can easily be misunderstood and underestimated. Writing is not for the weak and will, at times, pull and rip everything from inside of you. Writing is gentle and harsh all at the same time. Writers can find themselves connected to the world in ways a non-writer will never experience. Writers, too, can also find themselves alone in other moments, questioning and second-guessing who they are as a person, as a writer, and if their literature imprint in the world is worth it. The lesson sits in that being a misfit, feeling mismatched within your surroundings, can be rationalized and finally made sense again, once paper meets pencil. You have to be a little odd, a little more reserved, a bit different than those around you in order to create something spectacular.

Lidia Yuknavitch speaks at TED2016 – Dream, February 15-19, 2016, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

12 TRUTHS I LEARNED FROM LIFE AND WRITING

Video Link: ted.com

About: Anne Lamott brings her own life to stage, sharing the lessons she has learned after living on this Earth for sixty years. She discusses the comedic parts of her life that had spawned lessons, as well as the loses and tragedies. She reminds us that we are only human and gives us some of the reminders our ears need to hear most often.

The Lesson: Lamott speaks of writing advice that many writers need to hear. Such as, “If you don’t know where to start, remember that every single thing that happened to you is yours, and you get to tell it. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” This video creates an emotional response and an opportunity of reflection to consider what we have learned as people and as writers.

Anne Lamott speaks at TED2017 – The Future You, April 24-28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Marla Aufmuth / TED

METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING

Video Link: ted.com

About: James Geary presents a really interesting speech and case about metaphors. By pulling reference from literature written by the pioneers of the written word and even Elvis Presley, Geary displays a series of examples of how metaphors have formed our way of thinking and have squeezed their way into our life.

The Lesson: Metaphors are a really powerful literary device that can intrigue, impress, and even make our minds think. Geary proves the importance of metaphors. The lesson encourages use of metaphors in writing. One of the best things a writer can do is to express description in new ways that pulls the reader into the text more than they have ever been before. Metaphor has opened doors and will continue to do so.

James Geary at TEDGlobal 2009, Session 5: ” Hidden algorithm,” July 22, 2009, in Oxford, UK. Credit: TED / James Duncan Davidson

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