The Morning News

Watching Bottling Miraculous Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert summons the spirit of the creativity genie, getting a rare standing ovation after her talk at the TED conference. Gilbert tries to bottle the essence of the creative process, being especially smart explaining the moments when we lose that bottle—the British idiom “losing your bottle” being useful here.

She explains that courage in creativity is something it’s best to assume we don’t have complete control over: something that runs away, and at a moment’s notice can wash over you as a great wave of momentary genius. The delusion she establishes is useful for anyone familiar with such mental brick walls. The talk is more refined than “blame spirits for your failures”; she is simply saying we must graft, work, sweat, and hope that muse/genius treats us fairly. Watch:


David Pogue appreciates the TED conference’s elitist reputation but notes: “Truly, these videos are gems of the Internet; I know a lot of people who watch one each morning as they sit down at work to get inspired for the day.” Most everything I’ve heard about creativity is a zoetrope to Elizabeth Gilbert’s high-definition 3D surround sound. It’s all illusions and spirits, but who cares? This is about confidence, her determination is infectious.

Eminem, however, has no such problems. —
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