If you write, compose, play, perform, or create in ANY way.. Take 19 minutes to watch this video of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘Eat Pray Love’ as she muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses. It’s a funny and surprisingly moving talk.
What is it about creative ventures that makes us nervous about each other’s mental health? Those who inhabit the far end of the creative spectrum are often known for their unstable, capricious moodiness that often leads to depression, manic tendencies, and even suicide. The question Gilbert raises is: as a ‘creative’, are you OK with that? If you create (songs, poetry, art, fashion, design, or ANYTHING), you’ll relate to the capriciousness of creativity and the oftentimes fleeting and frustrating process of creativity…and you’ll identify with her story I have no idea of Gilbert’s religious belief system, but her time in the video is spent trying to convince at least some of her audience that the creative process is fueled by some kind of ‘divine’ or ‘spiritual’ force that can inhabit and direct us as we create something.
It’s not a new concept, and certainly WAY too long to encompass on a blog like this one, but many great works of art (songs, paintings, etc.) have been documented as having been created effortlessly…as if the Spirit simply flowed through the artist. The result has been everything from a ‘classic’ work of art to a significant worship song to a watershed writing which helped change the course of history.
Do you resonate with the story of poet Ruth Stone at 10:20 in the video? Or is that too irrational? Too far out of our civility? What do you think? Have you ever brushed up against something like that? How do you explain it?
And if you’re not familiar with TEDblog (Technology, Entertainment, Design), spend a little time there and become inspired and refueled.