Thursday, February 5, 2015

Eat, Pray, Love’s Elizabeth Gilbert – 2 profound quotes on writing with creativity and fear


Want to know what stops all of us in our tracks sometimes when we sit down to write?

Almost by accident, I just caught a great interview with writer Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love, among other things) on a podcast I listen to (not for kids, but you should listen – it’s hilarious; this was really the only serious part). 

image She had some incredibly profound things to say about creativity and fear, and on writing without a safety net (“I just jumped off the cliff…” – it starts around 43 minutes into the podcast)

“What you have to understand always about anything creative and inventive is that creativity and fear are conjoined twins.

Lots of times, what holds people back from being creative is that the fear is so great, that in order to murder the fear, they end up killing off the creativity as well.

You have to accept that they were born together, they share all the same organs.  They’re always going to be together.  You have to make a lot of space for allowing the fear to coexist along with the creativity.

So what I always do before I begin any project is I actually sit down and have a conversation with the fear, and just say,

“Look, we’re going on a road trip, me and creativity, and I know you’re coming.  I just want you to know that you don’t get to touch the radio, you don’t get to drive, you don’t get to hold the map, you don’t get to make any decisions.  But you get to be in the minivan, and I know that you’re going to do the thing that you do, which is to just sit in the back seat and scream at the top of your lungs at every corner, at all the horrible things that could go wrong. 


“And thank you, because I know that’s your contribution.  But creativity and I are going to make all the choices, and you don’t get to make any of them.”

But you have to let it be there.  The harder you try to fight it, the more it fights back, and the worse it gets.  So you just have to get a really big minivan so that there’s room for all 3 of you.”

Pretty awesome, huh?  I love just stumbling over stuff like that.  Hope I’ve managed to share the inspiration!

1 comment:

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