Your Elusive Genius, by Elizabeth Gilbert

Is “Dissociation” the best way to handle creativity?

A side of creativity has somehow always been associated with suffering and pain, especially when we are reminded of the lives of so many poets, writers, artists and musicians who went down the path of self-destruction. But does it have to be that way? Why can’t we view creativity as something enjoyable and fun?

Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, explains how this negative association impacts the creative process and lays undue pressure on the creative mind. There is always a lingering fear of failure, rejection, oblivion and not being able to top the previous accomplishment. According to her, this is a dangerous trend that should not be allowed to perpetuate through future generations.

The solution, she says, lies in distancing ourselves from the creative process, in a way that ancient Greeks and Romans did. When we begin to imagine that creativity doesn’t come from the self, but from an unknown, external source, we are better equipped to deal with the results of our work.

Gilbert’s 20-minute TED talk is both entertaining and thought provoking.


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