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Creativity, Perserverance, and Other Best Videos for Writers
Written by
The Salonniere
December 2010
Written by
The Salonniere
December 2010
Last night at the salon of women writers I started years ago with Nancy K. Miller, our guest was the novelist, essayist and poet Siri Hustvedt, who prepared a talk for our group on the neuroscience of creativity, a field in which she is a well-known expert. It was one of the best, most enlightening evenings I've spent in a long while, and I hope to find a way to share what Siri said last night with the wider She Writes community. In the meantime, however, Siri inspired me to go looking on the web for similar talks given by women writers on the subject. I added several to the She Writes video library today, including talks from Amy Tan, Joyce Carol Oates, and Stacy Schiff. But the first video I have shared here is likely familiar to many of you, and well worth a listen (and a view) -- Elizabeth Gilbert's now famous TED talk on, you guessed it, creativity. Gilbert takes a much different approach than Siri did, turning more to meditations on the elusive nature of "genius" than to scientific studies of the brain, but her considered meditation has much to teach and will resonate with many you, I'm sure. The second is a video of the commencement speech given by JK Rowling with the inspiring title, "The Fringe Benefits of Failure, And the Importance of Imagination." This is a talk I know I will turn to when inspiration is hard to find. What do you think of Gilbert's view of creativity and inspiration as a visitation from elsewhere, a happening that artists can't wholly take responsible for but can't summon at will, either? Or of Rowling's view of the imagination? And are there other talks by writers on the subject of creativity that you have been inspired by? I am continually amazed by the riches now online, as inspiration for the mind and spirit -- and yes, as ways to spark creativity. So please, if you have seen a video that has inspired you, share it with us. Sometimes we all need a little help when it comes to getting those juices (or genies, as Gilbert might say), going.

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  • Carolyn Barbre

    Makes perfect sense. Life presents inumerable challenges, twists and turns. Relationships, jobs, possessions--so many things come and go, but one's particular gift, whether persued or fled from, is the most constant thing about us. Letting go of the ego and giving the muse, genie or Allah to Olé (praise God) credit sets us free to create without fear--certainly a blessing for writers.

  • Kathy Ponce

    Thank you for sharing Elizabeth Gilbert's talk. It reached me quite significantly today as I bear with the tensions of my creative life. :)