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Your Elusive Creative Genius

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Andrea Bisnaire

on 18 February 2013

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Transcript of Your Elusive Creative Genius

TED presenter Elizabeth Gilbert Your Elusive Creative Genius About the speaker Writing is Gilbert's love and fascination
She wrote the international bestseller "Eat, Pray, Love"

Will she ever be able to top her big success? Will people ever care for her new books? "Is it rational/logical for anyone to be afraid of the work they feel they were put on this world to do?" When she was young... People would ask her:
Aren't you afraid not to succeed? That rejection kill you?
Doesn't it worry you that you could work all your life and that nothing will come out of it?

Answer: YES!

"What is it about creative ventures that seems to make us nervous about each others mental health?" Artists and Writers They have a reputation for being very emotionally unstable due to things like:
grim death counts
being undone by their own gifts Before Norman Mailer's death, he said in an interview: "Every single one of my books killed me a little more." HOW can she keep doing what she loves? She needs to create a protective psychological construct
(make a safe distance between her and her natural anxiety of reaction) Creativity and suffering are somehow linked
Artistry will ultimately lead to anguish We accept the notion that... This is odious and very dangerous. Ancient Greece/Rome People did not believe creativity came from humans, they believed it was a divine spirit. That it came through an unknowable source for distinct and unknowable reasons.
They were called "damons" in ancient Greece, and "geniuses" in ancient Rome.
They would invisibly assist an artist and would shape the outcome.
This protected artists from narcissism. Now creativity comes directly from a human. People now ARE geniuses instead of HAVING one. BIG MISTAKE This puts too much pressure on a fragile human psyche
It warps and distorts egos
It has been killing off artists for nearly 500 years. What now? Do we we go back to those ancient beliefs? It makes sense "in terms of explaining the utter maddening capriciousness of the creative process". Ideas come through an identified source How to deal with the source sanely Tom Wades He is the embodiment of a tormented modern artist. He would struggle alot internally. One day while driving, he felt a melody coming at him. Instead of panicking, he looked up at the skies and told it to "wait". He controlled the melody and told it straight up that he couldn't deal with it at the moment. This completely changed his thought process. His heavy anxiety was released when he took the genius out of him were it caused trouble. His genius didn't have to be an internalized tormented thing. It could be a peculiar, bizarre collaborative conversation. Gilbert's pit of despair While writing "Eat, Pray, Love", Elizabeth fell into a sort of pit of despair.

She tried Wades method:
She looked up, and told "it" that if her book didn't turn out good, it wasn't entirely her fault.
She is doing her part and her "genius" is not doing it's part
Her job is to just keep writing

This saved her and pushed her to keep writing. Centuries ago in Africa Sometimes when dancers were transcendent and would sort of step into a magical portal, people would call that by it's name. They chanted "Allah", meaning "God". In southern Spain, this turned into the, now well-known, "Ole!". What is hard is is the painful reconciliation one of those dancers felt after their "moment" when they realise they are not truly a glimpse of God. How to make the reconciliation less painful:
Do not believe that the most extraordinary aspects of your being come from you
Instead, that they are loaned to you from an unimaginable source for an exquisite portion of your life. What she keeps telling herself Don't be afraid or taunted
Just do your job
Continue to show up for your part If the supernatural thing, "genius", decides to show up, then "Ole!". If not, keep doing what you're doing. "‘Ole!’ to you, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.”
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