UC Riverside: The Arts and Letters Lecture Series
An Evening with Elizabeth Gilbert
March 12, 2009 Palm Springs, California
Elizabeth Gilbert is the number one bestselling author of her memoir Eat, Pray Love published by Viking in 2006. I decided to share, with you, two tips that occurred to me regarding creativity as I listened to her describe her writing journey.
Tip 1. Be on the lookout for fresh and unusual concepts. Most readers of this book are women. Elizabeth shared a story about a man who would read her book on the subway but would hide the cover by wrapping it in a magazine. He didn't want to be "outed." I thought, what a great value screen for some creative ideas - the concept of being "outed." A question you can ask, "How does this idea carry out the concept of being outed?" The answers to this question can lead you to uncovering new value. Include this question on your idea value screen list and use it when it makes sense.
Tip 2. It takes guts. Sometimes you have to stop what you're working on and start over. While writing her next book on marriage Elizabeth kept feeling that her manuscript wasn't good, it just didn't feel right. This feeling wouldn't go away. Two weeks before she was due to submit it to her publisher she finally reacted to her gut instinct. Elizabeth told the publisher she wouldn't be submitting her manuscript. She returned the advance; what a gutsy move. This action cleared the air for her. Reenergized, Elizabeth started fresh and wrote a new manuscript that felt right.
LIFT Your Thinking ...until next time.