Inspiration for Writers: Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk on Creativity

by | Sep 20, 2019

Want to feel inspired?

Look what we pulled out of the archives: Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on the nature of inspiration and genius in writing.

The author of the popular travel memoir Eat, Pray, Love has amassed nearly 4 million views of this talk on YouTube. It’s worth 20 minutes of your time!

In the video, Gilbert 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.

The author 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,” she says. “Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be.”

Prefer to read this talk? Here’s the transcript for Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk.