Thursday, November 12, 2015

Writing Lessons from Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth GIlbert Napa

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go see spend a day at a writer's workshop with author Elizabeth Gilbert. She recently wrote Big Magic, which I loved and it was in Napa so obviously it was a dream scenario.

She spoke a lot about her book and the creative process which has been something I've been focusing on. I do a lot of writing at work and here, but I miss creative writing and I've been trying to make more time for it. I don't have any specific ideas, but I love exploring with words. That's really where creativity all started for me — in recent years its showed up in food, DIY and crafts but it all started with writing.
Liz Gilbert Writers Workshop

She talked a lot about fear. I think fear is something that definitely holds a lot of people back from doing anything. I know for me, fear creeps in and then I switch to another task. I always make the excuse that I realized I could have been using my time more wisely by doing something else, but its always because I'm afraid it won't be as good as I imagine. Recently my other excuse has been "I won't be making any money off of it."

She talked about acknowledging your fear and being compassionate towards it. It really is just trying to protect you. Shoving it away will only make it come back in full force so you have to acknowledge that it is with you in your creative endeavor and hope it enjoys the ride.

She also talked about entitlement. You are entitled to create. As a child of creation you are entitled to your own creativity. Pursuing creativity allows you to "Put your handprint on the wall of your life and say 'I was here'." I love that. We are created by a creative God. We are created in His image so obviously we have the urge to create. It doesn't mean you'll make money off of it or that you'll be the best at it, but I know that I personally feel a release and in tune with myself much better when I'm creating than during the times when I've ignored inspiration.

If you haven't already, check out Big Magic to read more of Elizabeth's ideas on creativity. She also talks a lot about the subject with different artists on her podcast Magic Lessons.

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