This week, a friend passed on a link for TED.com, the place where you can find videos of 18 minute talks on a variety of subjects. I watched Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, speak about “A different way to think about creative genius” and was entralled, inspired, excited.
I’m currently working away on my third novel. I’m figuring out the characters, sorting out some possible plots, wondering where (and if) it’s going. This work, whatever or wherever it is, is undeniably in a very embryonic state. It’s easy to feel mounds of self-doubt, to hit the delete key too often and to question whether I have another novel in me.
So Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk came just in the nick of time. I won’t summary it–it’s best you listen to it yourself. But I will say that I’ve had some of the experiences she describes. Creativity and inspiration come in fits and starts, and can feel otherworldly, and I like it that way. The rest of the time, like Elizabeth, I sit at my computer, show up for my job, and wait patiently to hear voices that will guide me through the story. And usually, if I remain open to it, and perhaps even ask nicely, it does.