Elizabeth Gilbert – Talking About Creativity and Genius

I loved this talk! This is Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the best seller Eat, Pray, Love. If you love writing, if you’re creative or work with creative people, if you simply enjoy hearing people discussing the creative process, you’ll love this! She’s smart, funny and wise. It’s 20 minutes long so put the kettle on and have a wee break! (I found this on Andy Bailey’s site; he’s the genius responsible for Comment Luv.)


  1. Hi Janice,

    This is one of my favorite speeches ever! I watched it a while back and I thought it was brilliant. Elizabeth hits the nail on the head when it comes to writing and creativity. What she said reminds me of the advice Hemingway gave to writers.

    He said that only write when you know where the story is going. When you reach a point where you have no idea what will come next, put the pen down and just walk way. Go outside, do errands and yet unconsciously hold the story in your mind. He said that within a day or two, he would know what would come next and that is how he dealt with writers block.

    I have found his advice to be true and Elizabeth Gilbert also was brilliant about the history of “genius”.

    Excellent selection! 🙂

    Nadia – Happy Lotus´s last blog post..Doggie In The City

    1. I know I won’t be able to sustain the pace of blogging every day. I have so much admiration for people who manage it. It would seriously interfere with my health, family life and the way that inspiration visits me. I’d become obsessive. But I do want to provide value to anyone who takes the time to visit on days when I’m not writing much, so I decided a while back to give myself permission to be a filter, a passer-on of anything that moves, tickles, inspires or intrigues me! I’m glad you enjoyed seeing this again. I missed it first time round. Your advice on just putting down the pen and walking away is solid gold. In non-fiction writing, it helps us gain clarity. In fiction, it lets our characters have a life and decide what they’re going to do next!

  2. Gilbert provides fresh air for livelier creative adventures! I feel she walks her talk with an assurance that’s contagious ~ never alone, close to the invisible yet-to-be-known.

    For creativity related to school systems ~ and plenty of laughs ~ there’s the 2006 TED Talk by Sir Ken Robinson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY

    Stuart Brown’s recent look at creativity and play ushers us beyond the conventional idea of childhood play as rehearsal for adult responsibilities: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/tim_brown_on_creativity_and_play.html

    Finally, here’s Diane Ackerman’s take: “Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.”


  3. @AVR
    Thank you! I ‘m glad you’ve taken the time to have a wee look around. I wanted to give folk the chance to get to know me slowly through my longer pieces.
    Thank you for telling us about these; I’ll check them out over coffee tomorrow. (It’s nearly midnight here now; our clocks have changed.) I’m always humbled by the way you share your vast matrix of resources so generously. We’re lucky to have a creativity coach in our ‘Bistro’!

  4. So glad you’ve shared this video – it really is one of my favourites. Gilbert speaks so well with such humility and passion, and her topic is just inspired. Both liberating and motivating.

    amypalko´s last blog post..The Poet Archtype

    1. She speaks effortlessly, doesn’t she! “Liberating” is a really good way to look at her topic. Hadn’t thought of it like that.

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