Elizabeth Gilbert Cubed

Elizabeth Gilbert found her voice whilst living out the year that became her memoir Eat, Pray, Love. I read the book just before it became a phenomenon and enjoyed it. I recommended it to others.

My enthusiasm flagged as people made a bigger fuss over the memoir and its author. It turned me off Committed, another memoir. The book jacket shouted "over sharing". 

Then I listened to Rob Bell's podcast interview with Elizabeth Gilbert and I was intrigued enough to read her novel Signature of All Things. I enjoyed it and had to admit she is a committed creative artist. And better than her memoir. 

She talked about her upcoming book Big Magic with Rob Bell. The name was a turn off. Mind you, I love Harry Potter. I am not a fan of California Woo Woo and it struck me as silly. Again I had to reevaluate because of a podcast.


This time Elizabeth Gilbert interviewed Brene Brown on the podcast Magic Lessons. Ultimately I listened to all 12 episodes of Magic Lessons on Stitcher and read Big Magic.

This book will be interesting to people pursuing a creative life. FIrst, it was refreshing to discover that Elizabeth Gilbert does not think writing is all about inspiration. She advocates for lots of perspiration and recommends not pressuring your creative life with the expectation that it support you financially. If it does, celebrate. 

She also repeatedly advocates not taking your art too seriously. "There's probably never going to be any such thing in your life or mine as "an arts emergency." That being the case, why not make art?"

I also appreciated her stories of how she sometimes choose to leave flaws in her novels because it is important to finish. 

The final idea that I want to try is the idea she shared on her podcast of the "15 minute affair." The idea is that if you are crazy in love you will find even 15 minutes to make-out with your lover. So be as in love with your art, even if it means just 15 minutes of writing or painting.