Elizabeth Gilbert has been fascinated with creative writing her entire life. She’s most well known for her very successful memoir Eat, Pray, Love.
In this funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk, she muses on the impossible expectations we place upon those who are engaged in the creative process.
Following the incredible success of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth feared that anything else she wrote would be forever judged by the world against her former “freakish” success.
This was a very scary proposition – if her greatest work was already behind her, then how could she keep on doing what she loved, and write?
Was there a way she could put some psychological distance between herself as a writer and her anxiety about what the reaction to her writing would be?
Her search for answers to these questions lead her into some rather surprising territory – to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and to the sacred dances performed in the deserts of North Africa hundreds of years ago.
The people from these distant times and cultures had a very different view of creativity, she found, and she began to see that it was a view intimately known to many great artists of our time.
It’s a view that can help shift our psychology to be less afraid of embracing our creativity. So that instead of getting overly psyched out by it, we can simply enjoy and express it.