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Your Elusive Creative Genius

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Your Elusive Creative Genius

Ernest Tyler


October 20, 2014
Mr. Charles Crenshaw
Your Elusive Creative Genius In February 2009 Elizabeth Gilbert presented a speech to a TED Talk audience in Long Beach California (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). Elizabeth Gilbert is an American author from Waterbury, Connecticut. She has wrote several articles for magazines such as Spin, GQ and The New York Times Magazine. She has also wrote several books and she is best known for writing “Eat, Pray, Love” in 2006 (River Net Computers, 2013). The speech was titled “Your Elusive Creative Genius” (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). Elizabeth talked about how artist and entertainers (creative people) are prone to suicide and the stereotype that is associated with them (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). In ancient Greece and ancient Rome creative people were not actually considered to be creative, but instead had divine attendant spirits (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). Eventually, society stopped looking at creativity as a divine spirit and instead started looking at the individual as the creative entity (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). Elizabeth states how she believes this to be the worst thing to ever happen to creative people, because now their egos and expectations will be over inflated (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). We are losing creative people in today’s society because we are putting too much pressure on them to always improve on their own work and they are unable to handle the constant pressure and criticism. These individuals have to figure out a way to continue being creative and block out the critics in society. Creative individuals have to show up for work every day and do their job to create inspirational pieces for society.
Creative Stereotypes Everywhere Elizabeth Gilbert goes people treat her like she is doomed (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). Why would someone treat such a successful person as if they are doomed, you ask? Elizabeth Gilbert acknowledges that she has most likely reached the peak of her career and nothing else she does will ever exceed what she has accomplished with “Eat, Pray, Love”. She could write a novel that is better than any other novel that has been recently released, but it will be compared to “Eat, Pray, Love” instead of all the other novels that have just been released. That means that every novel she writes from now on, no matter how much revenue it brings in, will be a failure. Norman Mailer is a two time Pulitzer Prize winner for writing (A&E Television Networks, 2014). His novels “The Executioner’s Song” and “The armies of the Night” both won one (A&E Television Networks, 2014). He also created a new writing style called “New Journalism”, which is a combination of fiction and qualities of reporting (A&E Television Networks, 2014). Elizabeth shares a quote of his in her speech, “Every one of my books has killed me a little more” (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). She shares this quote so that we can understand that even though a book is a success, it still takes a toll on the author. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome they didn’t have this problem of self-destruction due to success, because they had Divine Attendant Spirits (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009).
Divine Attendants Divine Attendant Spirits are beings that can enter a body or just help an individual come up with a creative idea (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). In ancient Greece these were known as “Daemon’s” (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). In ancient Rome these were known as “Geniuses” (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). Genius were spirits that lived in a dwelling an occasionally helped an artist with his work (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). Genius did not reference a person until the Renaissance era (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009).
In the Renaissance era creativity stopped being contributed by spirits and instead was a product of a single individual’s ability. Elizabeth states that she thinks this was the worst thing that could ever happen to society (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). Making the individual a genius and not a spirit distorted egos and made unmanageable expectations out of our artists (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). These expectations that cannot be lived up to have be the cause of many great artists’ deaths. Elizabeth method to eliminate the pressure from these great expectations is to stay focused.
Elizabeth talks about how her method of writing is to sit down and just work (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). Day in and day out Elizabeth will sit there and work on a novel (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). Elizabeth looks at writing, even though it is her passion, as a job (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). She will always show up for her job, even if her divine spirit doesn’t show up (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009). She is doing her job and if the divine spirit is not doing its job it is not her fault (Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius, 2009).
Whether you are a creative person or you have a divined attendant spirit you have to show up for work every day and do your job to create inspirational pieces for society. If you commit suicide because of the pressure you can’t create anything new. If it takes a divine spirit to help you create something, then let it be. If you are able to be creative on you own with no help, then let it be. It does not matter how you are creative, what matters is that you always keep trying and do not give up.


A&E Television Networks. (2014). Norman Kingsley Mailer. Retrieved October 19, 2014, from The Website:
Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius (2009). [Motion Picture]. Retrieved October 19, 2014, from
River Net Computers. (2013). Elizabeth Gilbert Bio. Retrieved October 19, 2014, from Official Website for Best Selling Author Elizabeth Gilbert:

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