Monday, February 16, 2009

Ole Elizabeth!

Is it rational, logical, anyone should be afraid of the work they were put on earth to do? And what is it specifically about creative ventures that seems to make us nervous of each other's mental health in a way that other careers don't?
Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert delivers a most inspiring lecture on the nature of creativity for the TED Conference. I love the way she talks about "genius" and the way that she talks about herself as :
... a mule, not a pipeline.

You might also like to check out what she says on her website about how she got started as a writer. The best advice, I think :
The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you. You will make vows: “I’m going to write for an hour every day,” and then you won’t do it. You will think: “I suck, I’m such a failure. I’m washed-up.” ... The other thing to realize is that all writers think they suck. When I was writing “Eat, Pray, Love”, I had just as a strong a mantra of THIS SUCKS ringing through my head as anyone does when they write anything. But I had a clarion moment of truth during the process of that book. One day, when I was agonizing over how utterly bad my writing felt, I realized: “That’s actually not my problem.” The point I realized was this – I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write. So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows.


Damyanti said...

Thanks for posting this Sharon.

I read Eat, Pray, Love last year.

Though it is not my absolute favorite book, I must admit that the cock-eyed genius she talks about here has touched this book from time to time.

Satima Flavell said...

I loved that book, not least because some ten or twelve years ago I was also a middle-aged dharma-bum. It takes some courage to leap into the unknown and travel in search of oneself. But it's oh, so worthwhile!

Anonymous said...

pzpzpzpzpzp....test...have I been blocked?

Chet said...

I'm thinking of the other Elizabeth in our midst, and feeling sad for her.