Virtual writing conference: A talk from the author of Eat, Pray, Love

Need inspiration or some thought provoking writer-talk? Want to attend a writing conference but can’t afford to go? Oh, the beauty of the internet.

Elizabeth Gilbert, writer of Eat, Pray, Love, shares her thoughts about the creative process and how it can be irrational and sometimes downright paranormal: 

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

Elizabeth’s talk from 2009 is 19:29 long, but it’s worth the time – it’s had 3,389,530 views (according to My favorite part starts at around 10:12 when Elizabeth talks about meeting American poet Ruth Stone. Ruth told Elizabeth how she would be out working in the fields of rural Virginia and she would feel and hear a poem coming at her over the landscape like a “thunderous train of air.” She’d have to catch it or she’d lose it.  Elizabeth relates the story much better than I can. Give it a listen.

Elizabeth hooked me near the beginning of her talk with these two questions: “Is it rational, is it logical, that anybody should be expected to be afraid of the work that they feel they were put on this earth to do? What is it specifically about creative ventures that seems to make us really nervous about each others’ mental health in a way that other careers don’t do?”