You probably know Elizabeth Gilbert from her book, Eat, Pray, Love. If you have been inside any bookstore the last two years, you probably see stack-loads of it around.
TED invited Elizabeth Gilbert to speak on creativity. As a public speaker, Elizabeth Gilbert is engaging and her speech is sprinkled with humorous anecdotes so that it never feels boring.
The reason I decided to post her TED video here today is because of her message towards the end: She was so successful with her last book that she is now caught p with the tremendous pressure and expectation for her next book. How can she possibly write anything that can be as successful? As she admitted to the audience: her best days as a writer may already be behind her. How does somebody live up to this sort of pressure? How does an artist continue to work, knowing you may never create anything that was as spectacular as what came before?
Elizabeth Gilbert explains one of the one of the most painful reconciliation for an artist: there will come a time when you know that the moment of almost divine inspiration has passed on. How she comes to term with this is to accept that perhaps, this moment of inspiration - this "most extraordinary aspects of your being" that came from somewhere outside of yourself is just on loan to you. It was with you for a moment, and when you are finished, to be passed along to somebody else.
I love this idea that we do not own our gifts. That it is something shared with us for a brief moment of our lives. When the time comes, we pass it on, grateful for what it has brought us - for what came by grace is never ours to keep.
Please watch this video for her message.
Elizabeth Gilbert's website