Elizabeth Gilbert talked with Read it Forwardâs editor Abbe Wright about uncovering latent creativity, being afraid (but keeping it in check) and experiencing magical moments while reading. Read it Forward: In Big Magic, you write an analogy for the creative process that I just love. RIF: Can you read while youâre writing or do you really have to separate the two? All the people who I know and love and learn from are the people who are really open and candid about their fear and about their anxiety. The stories of people who died for their art or died from their art make for great biopics or moviesâthink about Black Swan for instanceâ but I think the danger of it is then people get this idea that thatâs what an artist looks like.Â And young artists, I think, are drawn to that image and try to cultivate that darkness in themselves, in order to try to appear more authentic, because thereâs this idea that if youâre not destroying your life and the lives of everybody around you while youâre making art then youâre doing it wrong. Is that your way of saying that we must operate with some small amount of fear, which helps keep us out of harmâs way? I donât feel itâs a burden; I think itâs a real honor that people are interested in what Iâm doing and Iâm really curious about what theyâre doing. I am not, in any way, trying to make some sort of argument that suffering does not or should not exist.Â I have an enormous amount of respect for it in the way that itâs operated in my life and the way that itâs operated in other peopleâs life.Â What Iâm taking issue with is the fetishization of it. The other piece of evidence to prove it is that thatâs what every kid does automatically and instinctively. On her "mid-life crisis": "I think it was a crisis because the pressure was on to have kids...My ex-husband was very eager to do it. EG: Reading is my first love, even before writing. And then itâs really easy to cut it offâclose the laptop, turn off notifications and go for a walk. International bestselling author of the phenomenon "Eat Pray Love," Elizabeth Gilbert returns to "SuperSoul Sunday" to discuss her latest novel, "City of Girls." To learn more, visit go.ted.com/tedconnects. To say Elizabeth Gilbert is inspiring is a little like describing a picturesque vista of mountains scraping across blue sky as âpretty,â or the experience of watching your favorite band play from front row seats as merely âcool.â Itâs just a slight understatement. I can open up a dialog about something that Iâm thinking or feeling or noticing and people can respond and I can choose who to respond to and I can engage or not engage.Â And then I can walk away from my laptop and my house is empty, and Iâm alone with my family or alone with my friends.Â Itâs kind of perfectÂ because I like that communion, I like being part of the public conversation, I like putting something in the world and feeling the response to it.Â I like it when people bring me questions and we discuss it.Â I just want to be able to manage when Iâm doing that, and I can, thanks to Mark Zuckerberg. You can now purchase books directly from Penguin Random House on RIF. Iâll just start clapping and be like, âyes,â and itâs not because heâs giving me some transcendental philosophical idea; itâs because the sentence is so awesome that I just have to applaud, which I think is a kind of magic, right? Actuallyâand this is my favorite definition of artâthey were unnecessarily beautiful. Thank you for taking this time to muse with me. I’m also planning on reading her new novel. In it, Gilbert argues that humans are inherently creative beingsâmakers at heartâand itâs only when we are open to inspiration, we put in the work and let go of our fears, do we uncover the âstrange jewelsâ inside each of us. Elizabeth Gilbert says it's OK to feel overwhelmed. She asked every cab driver, hotel clerk, and barista the same question: âwhat are you most excited about in your life right now?â Their resulting answers resulted in incredible instances of what Gilbert calls âthat human-to-human spark.â By asking such a question, she essentially hotwired intimacy, cutting through the usual B.S. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, which as of December 2010 had spent 199 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and which was also made into a film by the same name in 2010. You write that you donât give space to those people who say, âI must suffer for my art and if Iâm not suffering, Iâm not creating.âÂ You argue that putting yourself first and taking care of yourself will lead to creation and that those people who create while suffering almost do so in spite of it and not because of it, right? After listening to this interview I bought a copy and it’s one of the most remarkable memoirs that I’ve ever read. I said to myself, âThis is what I do and Iâm willing to be a diner waitress and a bartender and an au pair and somebody who sells jewelry at flea markets. Get weekly book recommendations delivered right to your inbox and find out What Weâre Reading. of the âwhere are you fromsâ and âwhat do you dos.â. "Surrender is so relaxing." Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love, a chronicle of her post-divorce adventures in Italy, India, and Bali, became an iconic travel memoir not for its incredible scenes, transcendent experiences, and fascinating characters—although it has all of those things—but because the story began in a place where many of her readers have found themselves: kneeling on the bathroom floor in crisis. She needed a quilt to keep her children warmâthatâs necessityâbut they didnât have to be gorgeous. The book has sold more than 10 million copies since its publication in 2006, was turned into a movie starring Julia Roberts, and helped earn Elizabeth … Fear is a really good sign that youâve got skin in the game, that what youâre doing matters to you and it has an impact on your psyche.Â Thatâs often a very good indication that youâre on the right track, that youâre doing something thatâs really scary.Â Thatâs good. Â EG:Â I canât read things that are similar to what Iâm writing. This is big magicâdoing something, taking a risk and getting an unexpected reward; choosing the path of curiosity rather than the path of fear. Show The TED Interview, Ep Elizabeth Gilbert says it's OK to feel overwhelmed. Posted on December 11, 2015 at 6:17 pm by Amanda Stuermer / Interview, Uncategorized Hi this is Liz. We are experiencing an error, please try again. I think itâs a really limited view of what it is to be a person. Here's what to do next, Â© TED: https://www.ted.com/about/our-organization/our-policies-terms/ted-com-terms-of-use#h2--copyright-issues-and-licenses. Most people know Elizabeth Gilbert for the global phenomenon that was Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. Most people know Elizabeth Gilbert as the author of the brutally honest and massively popular memoir “Eat, Pray, Love,” a moving account of her spiritual journey around the world after a particularly devastating divorce. You'll Want to Be Best Friends With Elizabeth Gilbert After Reading This Interview September 22, 2015 by Tara Block Elizabeth Gilbert, author … And you can call it “chick lit,” but it’s inspired millions to move forward with their lives, differently. She has written for Glamour, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Cut and tweets about books (and The Bachelor) at @abbewright. They find really compassionate ways to work with it, rather than constantly trying to either pretend it doesnât exist or do some sort of massive genocidal eradication. She was interviewing a 95-year-old former showgirl, and the conversation took a turn. Ten to fifteen years before anybody heard of me and twenty years before I was a bestselling author, this is what I was doing. Itâs part of the reason that the arts are around; to remind us that weâre not just here to pay bills and die, that weâre also here to get excited and to feel wonder and to feel awe.
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