Catching it by the tail

I recently revisited the following TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love”. Elegant, natural and vulnerable, she’s a great communicator and touched on something I think we’ve all experienced in some way. Watch this 18 minute talk about what it’s like to create a bestseller:

We all know what it’s like to have a moment of divine inspiration, of a great idea popping into our head, and “catching it by the tail”. You probably also know those days when you sit down to write, design or shoot a photo and that inspiration just doesn’t come. The mystery of creativity seems to be one that has haunted humans for thousands of years, as Elizabeth mentioned.

When I think about my design and other creative endeavors, it’s funny how, on one hand I would say my best ideas don’t come from myself, but on the other hand I’m so affected by what other people think or say about my creative strokes. You’d think that if they didn’t originate with me, I wouldn’t get so dang proud of my great ideas, and so deflated by the dry days. Maybe you can relate?

I really appreciate Elizabeth’s posture in the face of her creative challenges. She has the humility to acknowledge that her great ideas don’t come from herself, but all she can do is show up for her part of the job.

May you have the perseverance to show up for your part of the job, and have the privilege of catching one of those whispers by the tail.

«     »

1 Comment

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Today I had a great conversation with an inspiring friend, took a shower and had so much in my head that I sat down and cranked out 35 pages of an e-book (I’ll be emailing it to you soon). I felt like it was flowing so well, I couldn’t turn it off. Then something came up, I took a break, and when I went back it (the flow/creativity) was all gone. So we’ll see what happens. But either way those few hours were priceless!

Leave a Comment