Elizabeth Gilbert’s Most Fundamental Rule of Writing

Gilbert sharing some interesting view on creat...

Gilbert on her TED talk  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

If there is one contemporary living author whose work I really adore now and fervently reading today, that’d be Elizabeth Gilbert. She’s… I don’t know how to put it… intelligently sexy or sexily intelligent. Oh, whatever, but the point is she’s got what it takes to be my writer idol. And of course, her degree of candor, outspokenness and devotion to writing charm me whenever she speaks.

Here is how she set her mind prior to pouring her thoughts onto paper.

“One of the rules that I have as a writer and the one that I got from my older sister who is a brilliant writer is NEVER sit down to write anything whether it’s a newspaper article, a novel or anything, until you know precisely who the one person that you’re speaking to and have it be one person only. And each one of my books has been written to different persons and it’s a really important decision as I begin a project, “Who is it going to be?” because it affects the way you speak. You speak to different people diferently. So I wrote the entirety of Eat Pray Love to my friend Darcy who lives in Brooklyn. She’s a very funky hipster Christian. She and I had… Her father is a Lutheran minister and she became a punk rocker and then kind of drifted back towards Christianity but in a very skeptical and complicated way. She is a single mom who went through a shattering divorce, she’s been through a terrible depression, she’s a novelist whose work I really admire. And she’s somebody who in the year prior to my going on a journey I was close with as we spent a lot of time talking about the issues that subsequently became discussed in Eat Pray Love. So when it came time to write the book, it was the letter to Darcy. And so when people say to me,”I feel like you’re directly speaking to me, I’m like well that kind of speaks directly to somebody.”

 

She continues…

 

“When you present something of yourself in any form into the world, that is scary. The thing that wants to protect from that is going to stop you from doing it by any means necessary and the best is telling you you’re not worthy of even attempting…that’ll shut you up. And it often works, and I feel like just… Some of the motherliness, you have to be kind to yourself, you have to be forgiving to yourself, some of the stubbornness. And stubborn about wanting to do this work and be more stubborn than that voice. I stubbornly love and respect this work. And you have to sort of outendure it. That voice will tire thatself out. Hopefully, sooner than the part of you who just insists on being hurt, insists on trying.”

 

 

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