Keep on the lookout for novel and interesting ideas that others have used successfully. Your idea needs to be original only in its adaptation to the problem you are working on.

Thomas Edison (1847-1931), American inventor and businessman.

… you might think that political correctness dampens creativity in groups. But a new study … suggests just the opposite: Particularly in coed groups, asking people to be politically correct … leads to more creative, novel ideas.

Olga Khazan, staff writer on The Atlantic, in a new article on this week on “How Sexism Stifles Creativity”

All behaviour consists of opposites. Learn to see things backward, inside out and upside down.

Lao Tzu, (570-490 BC), Chinese thinker, founder of Taoism

The scariest moment is always just before you start.

Stephen King (1947- ), best-selling American writer across various genres

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), French photographer, considered the father of photojournalism

Granted, sorting bad ideas from good isn’t easy. One trick that works for us is a cooling-off period. Ideas nearly always seem brilliant when they’re hatched, so we never act on a new idea for at least 24 hours.

Stephen Levitt and Stephen Dubner, American economist and writer respectively, writing in their new book, Think Like a Freak (2014)

Q. Any advice for young filmmakers?
A. Marry rich.

The advice of Frederick Wiseman (1930 – ), 84 year-old American film, theatre and documentary director, in an interview last month in The New York Times

[a] team studying academic submissions [for funding] found that SLIGHTLY NOVEL medical proposals got the highest ratings… Newer ideas generally got worse ratings. [It seems that] there is an “optimal newness” for ideas that lives somewhere between the fresh and the familiar…

Derek Thompson, a senior editor at The Atlantic. The above is from his article on this month on “Why Experts Reject Creativity”

[Our] culture worships creativity, but mostly in the abstract. Most people really don’t like new ideas that sound entirely new, particularly the experts that often have to approve them. The trick is learning to frame new ideas as old ideas: to make your creativity seem, well, not quite so creative.

Derek Thompson, American journalist, in an article this month on on Why Experts Reject Creativity

The absolute killer of creativity is interruptions. You’ve got to get rid of those damn iPhones and those damn open plan offices.

John Cleese (1939 – ), British comedian, actor, writer; co-creator of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers, speaking at The Cheltenham Literary Festival last weekend