Elizabeth Gilbert on Your Elusive Creative Genius: TED Talks for Writers

Elizabeth Gilbert on Your Elusive Creative Genius: TED Talks for Writers

Looking for some writing inspiration? One fantastic source is TED.com, home of “Ideas Worth Spreading.” This series of posts features notable TED talks related to writing, storytelling and creativity. Enjoy!

In this popular TED Talk, Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert considers the nature of inspiration and genius in writing. She describes the evolution of the concept of genius, from the ancient Greeks and Romans, who believed it was a muse who helped artists work, to the post-Renaissance belief that genius comes from within an individual.

Gilbert questions the idea that “creativity and suffering are somehow inherently linked” and addresses the challenges of the writing process. She advises writers not to succumb to the pressure of demanding genius from themselves, and to simply write: “Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be.”

Prefer to read this talk? Find the transcript here.

What do you think of Gilbert’s idea of genius?

Filed Under: Craft, TED Talks
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  • Hugh Smith says:

    Thanks for reminding me about TED Heather, I discovered them a few years ago and have watched a bunch of their talks. It’s great that such a valuable resource is in one, easy to find place. Much like The Writer Life. 🙂