I find it humbling that my opinion-generating, perpetual judging machine of a mind gets called out over and over again. My assumptions become hardened into fact more rapidly than is healthy for someone who professes to have the “open mind” approach to life. I’m guilty as charged. But the one nice thing about being guilty is that sometimes there’s a happy ending (don’t read that wrong please) that leaves you with more, not less.

A few days ago I wrote about a major reassessment of my view of Shepard Fairey’s work, finding it so much more beguiling and engaging than I had previously assumed. And today I have a similar mea culpa about a writer I have mercilessly dismissed as way to clever, way too vapid and hopelessly manipulative. So on the topic of Elizabeth Gilbert, I stand corrected. I still intensely dislike her book, Eat, Pray, Love. But after listening to her TED talk (thank you Sally Reed for sending the connection my way) I will never bash her again.

Please take the 19 minutes to listen to Gilbert talk about what creativity is for her. As personal as that experience is for every maker of work, her take on how writing happens is so close to my experience that I can only shake my head in humble agreement. I find commonalities in other approaches of course, and there are some excellent TED contributions by Amy Tam, Isabelle Allende and others. But Gilbert—who knew?—is my truest kinswoman.

See it here.

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