Is there a creative “genius” inside of us or does this “genius” reside outside of our minds and bodies waiting for a special moment in time to act with or without our knowledge?
That’s a question that Elizabeth Gilbert puts to her audience at TED.
The idea of “having a genius” and not “being a genius” in the realm of creativity is something I’ve never looked at before.
As artists is it possible to throw away our narcissism and allow for the brilliance to come as it may?
I’m not talking about becoming lazy about our work, and neither is Elizabeth (insofar as I can tell) rather, I’m talking about pushing through those “blocks” that we stumble over as we work to create the things that we cannot keep ourselves from creating.
I’ve seen almost every TED talk and I found this one hit me more personally than any other I’ve seen. Truly the words and the feelings that Gilbert spoke resonated throughout the creative community.
I haven’t yet created my masterpiece. As I look through my work I see improvements in vision, application, technique, and presentation but they don’t improve at a steady rate. That is to say, that the ebbs and flow of learning and honing a craft can come with great frustrations along the way.
We see our progress but we also see our digress with eyes that would magnify our failures much more easily than they would magnify our success.
At times it’s almost easier to feel like a failure and give up than to struggle through this creative process and get more work done. But I can’t stop working. I’ve tried to “give up” and I sucked at it.
Without the outlet I become unpleasant. I lose my self.
When I ponder the idea that I can just create, I can just work, I can just move along at the pace that I need to and that “genius” will come and go at it’s leisure I get a sense of relief.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to just let the muse come and go, but I’m gonna try. For that, I thank Elizabeth Gilbert.