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‘I had to make sure my creativity survived its own success’: Elizabeth Gilbert


In a TED talk a few years ago, writer Elizabeth Gilbert — famous for her novel, ‘Eat, Pray, Love‘ — spoke of the dilemma she faced as to what to write next or if to write at all after the success of that novel, knowing that depending on the positive or negative feedback of this one, the next one would elicit an unfavourable response. “The task was that I had to find some way to gin up the inspiration to write the next book regardless of its inevitable negative outcome”.

The writer said she found her inspiration to write again in the most unlikely manner and that was by going back to her young college days, and remembering how despite six years of failed publications, her resolve to write never died because “I love writing more than I hated failing at writing”.

“Your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential. For me, that home has always been writing,” Gilbert said.

Though her follow-up to ‘Eat, Pray, Love‘ didn’t do well and the one after that did, it didn’t matter as much as it did to her before. “My point is that I’m writing another one now, and I’ll write another book after that, and another, and another, and another. And many of them will fail and some of them might succeed, but I will always be safe from the random hurricanes of outcome as long as I never forget where I rightfully live.”

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