1. Novelist Amy Tan has a number of bestsellers translated into 35 languages, including The Joy Luck Club (adapted into a film), The Hundred Secret Senses, and The Bonesetters Daughter. This video from 2008 covers the ups and downs of the creative process in a talk titled "Where Does Creativity Hide?"
2. Filmmaker Andrew Stanton is the imaginative writer behind the three Toy Story movies and WALL-E. Although he writes for animation, his talk, titled "The Clues to a Great Story" is relevant to all fiction writers as he discusses basics like "The greatest story commandment is: Make me care" and shares what he knows about storytelling, i.e., starting at the end and working back to the beginning.
3. It may not seem like billionaire author JK Rowling has much to say on "The Fringe Benefits of Failure," but since many of us do experience failure quite a bit in our writing careers, her words may what you need to keep going. "Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you fail by default."
4. J.J. Abrams is best known as the driving force behind such hits as Lost, Alias and Felicity on TV and Star Trek and Mission Impossible III on film. In his TED Talk, "The Mystery Box," he traces his love of and passion for the unseen mystery, his storytelling philosophy and his realization that "In whatever it is that I do, I find myself drawn to infinite possibility, that sense of potential."
5. For most people, the works of Elizabeth Gilbert usually put them firmly in either the love or hate camp, but you can't deny Gilbert's incredible success with the likes of Eat, Pray, Love. Her TED Talk, "Your Elusive, Creative Genius" may get a bit trippy at times, but her enthusiasm is infectious and her thoughts on the nature of inspiration and the fears and frustrations of those who pursue a creative life are sincere and engaging.
6. Julie Burstein is a radio host who interviewed hundred of artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers for her book, Spark: How Crectivity Works. Her talk arose from that book, and she offers up "Four Lessons in Creativity" that are all relevant to authors, such as "Get comfortable with the fact that pushing up against a limitation can actually help you find your voice."