Saturday, March 7, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert on Creativity, Inspiration

Elizabeth Gilbert at the 2009 Ted Conference.

Have you heard of the "Ted" talks? Ted stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, and it's an annual conference where the most incredible minds come to give short (18 minutes) talks on art, science, and more. I find most of the topics incredibly interesting, and the short format challenges the speakers to make their point concisely and compellingly.

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of the best seller, "Eat, Pray, Love" (which I have not read), and her talk is on creativity, and the relationship between the artist and their inspiration, which she calls their "Genius". Do you feel like the creativity coming from within you is truly "yours", or that it only visits you temporarily? Are you simply the conduit for ideas to make their way from the ether into a tangible form? Alternatively, do you take complete responsiblity (for better or worse) for your creative successes or failures? In her Ted talk, Elizabeth embraces the notion that there is some measure of comfort in accepting only partial credit for our creative inspiration.

Elizabeth's perspective is that of a writer, but these questions can apply to anyone who creates.

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