Monday, February 16, 2009

Creativity: A Writer's View

There are actually a few items I wanted to post today, none of them congruent enough to make a single post, so here's the first of them, a video of author Elizabeth Gilbert describes her views of creativity, especially following the success of her book "Eat, Pray, Love" - how inspiration works (or doesn't) and how other writers have tried to describe this very indescribable moment in an artist's life - and how an artist deals with the whole problem of continuing to create not only in the face of no success but even after success.

Sitting here as I've been these past few days, now, slowly recuperating from minor surgery two weeks ago and trying to get back into the composing mode to finish up the last of the five movements for this Violin Sonata, I have been contending with a considerable lack of inspiration. So it was quite amusing and, in its own way, inspiring, to hear her tell about one of the blacker "pits of despair" she'd experienced while writing her book, when she was thinking not only would it be not just a bad book, it would be, like, the worst book ever, that she spoke to an empty corner of the room as if chastising whatever might have been there, call it "muse" or "spirit" or "inspiration," this thing that can also be the "inner critic" that helps to destroys us in the process, what I call the anti-muse.

So she looked up from her manuscript, and said to this empty corner,

"Listen, you - thing - uhm, you and I both know that if this book isn't brilliant, that is not entirely my fault, right? 'cause you can see that I am putting everything I have into this, you know, I don't have any more than this... so if you want it to be better, then you've got to show up and do your part of the deal, okay? But if you don't do that, you know what? - the hell with it, I'm going to keep writing anyway, because that's - my - job. And I would please like the record to reflect today that I showed up for my part of the job."

That's just one of her comments, something to think about for people who are creative and for those who are curious about people who are creative. (And be cautious of the volume at the beginning, it starts with a blast of loud music).

(Courtesy of Joyce DiDonato's blog, Yankee Diva).

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