It’s fun to watch Julia Roberts eating, praying and loving, and I got reminded of Elizabeth Gilbert’s joyous salute to creativity in her TED lecture: (http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html).
Gilbert is irresistible to me – her questing, her sense of humor, and her delicious cascade of words. In the TED lecture she wrestles with the “problem” of how to keep writing after a huge success – how to keep doing the writing that so matters to her. How to keep writing in the face of fears. How to woo the muse.
Gilbert’s take is a respectful survey (in 18 quick-witted minutes of liveliness and laughing) of the ways people view the creative life. She suggests and supplies examples to support the idea that the source of creative thought might be outside oneself – a genie in a corner rather than a genius in a person. Some will doubt, as she says, the existence of “fairy juice” to sprinkle on a project, but her notion takes some of the pressure off the individual – which might well support the endeavor.
Gilbert calls herself a “mule” and says her creative process is “to get up every day at the same time and work.” When thoughts or ideas come from sources she can’t identify, she calls it “brushing against the magic.” A time of Emerson’s “strokes of the imagination.” A moment for “Olé!”
Usually I think of gift thoughts as coming from my undermind – a part of me fairly unknowable and temperamental. Can’t be forced, but can be wooed – maybe. It’s so enjoyable to toy with Gilbert’s construct of a power beyond. The creative worker’s job is to show up, but the fairy or genie in the corner of the room might not take orders that day.
Accountability to readers often lures the spirit from the corner, and keeps me going past the uncertain points in a self-imposed schedule. A faithful reader in an email sidebar to the blog refers to my “high standards.” If that’s true I owe my first readers – my husband and the wordsmith.
And blog readers matter very much. I’m grateful for readers. Thank you all. Olé to you!