Creative Genius: TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert TED Talks

I am absolutely in love with the TED Talks App for Android!  I downloaded so many TED Talks to watch for my trip – it was the perfect entertainment for those long train rides with no Wi-Fi!  One of the talks I watched was by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author behind the best seller Eat, Pray, Love.  I had read the book years ago before my trip to Bali.  Seeing her name peaked my interest so I went ahead and downloaded her talk.

Her talk is titled “Your Elusive Creative Genius”.  (If you’ve never seen it, you can watch the video here) This talk was given right after she found tremendous success with Eat, Pray, Love.  She was feeling a lot of anxiety over the fact that she might never see that type of success again in her lifetime.

She talks about how this pressure to continuously perform can sometimes get the most of people (especially those in the creative fields). She compares this way of thinking to the ancient times in Rome and in Greece when people believed creativity came from the gods or spirits who would visit whenever they wanted. Humans were only vessels for the creativity.  This way of thinking took the pressure off of the writers because whether their work was good or bad (or simply non-existent), they were not to be blamed.  I had never thought of creativity like that before –  It was just such a strange concept to me!

Of course nowadays, we don’t think like that.  People owned their creativity and if we were caught talking to the invisible creative gods in the corner, we would probably get some weird looks.

But it got me thinking (as most Ted Talks do) – even if I don’t believe in these spirits, I do believe that we need to be open to creativity. I think it’s so important to keep our eyes open and be accustomed to finding inspiration from the smallest and most mundane things.  I love working on this blog because it has opened my eyes to so many great ideas and it keeps my mind open and curious.

So, while I do think Elizabeth’s idea is a bit of a wacky one, I’m glad I watched her talk.  It was… eye-opening.

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