Salt Institute for Documentary Studies

Located in Portland, Maine, the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies offers a 15-week immersion program for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in documentary writing, photography, or radio.
This blog is an update of current Salt students insights and musings.


Just Love the Work

I am chagrined to admit i have yet to read EAT PRAY LOVE. That said, I do feel secure in saying that Elizabeth Gilbert's talk yesterday was devastatingly perfect. I've never heard such a flawless and candid raconteur. Her talk was conversational, hilarious, pleasingly discursive, poignant, and (above all) off-the-cuff. It was one of those rare moments in life when the speaker and audience are totally locked in with each other.

One of the themes of the talk was Creativity. I found her discussing the subject in a previous interview, and i thought it might be useful to post here.

best, ari.

Elizabeth Gilbert says...

I can't get behind the ambition to be "discovered" as much as I can get behind the ambition to write beautifully and honorably and steadfastly. Here's what I believe about creativity. I believe that creativity is a living force that thrums wildly through this world and expresses itself through us. I believe that talent (the force by which ephemeral creativity gets manifested into the physical world through our hands) is a mighty and holy gift. I believe that, if you have a talent (or even if you think you do, or maybe even if you just hope you do), that you should treat that talent with the highest reverence and love.

Don't flip out, in other words, and murder your gift through narcissism, insecurity, addiction, competitiveness, ambition or mediocrity. Frankly -- don't be a jerk. Just get busy, get serious, get down to it and write something, for heaven's sake. Try to get out of your own way. Creativity itself doesn't care at all about results -- the only thing it craves is the PROCESS. Learn to love the process and let whatever happens next happen, without fussing too much about it. Work like a monk, or a mule, or some other representative metaphor for diligence. Love the work. Destiny will do what it wants with you, regardless. Just love the work.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Thank you for this post, Ari. Elizabeth Gilbert pulls at my soul strings. Thanks for bringing her to me again.