Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | April 22, 2010

Must We Suffer to be Creative? Are People Geniuses or Do They Have a Genius?

The whole focus of the first stage of training in Druidry is on developing creativity through encouraging a connection with the More-Than-Self. Here’s the same topic dealt with in a clear, funny, brilliant way by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. In this 18 minute talk she clarifies beautifully the way in which it’s time we let go of the idea of the artist as ‘tortured’.


  1. People are so silly, aren’t they? Why can’t we just pause a bit to celebrate with her what she has accomplished… or what she was inspired to accomplish…? I think that would be much better then pressing her to do something ‘better.’

    Silly. That’s what I think.

  2. What a brilliant talk.

  3. I have a quibble with this marvellous talk:

    The concept that there are “creative” people/jobs and “not creative” people/jobs. We’re doing ourselves a massive disservice by perpetuating the idea that creativity and art is over in one corner being special and the rest of the world is separate from them. It seems to me that this increases the burden on everyone – “creatives” because they’re pressured to be special and “successful” (for which, read: Get lots of external validation and cash), and everyone else because they’re pressured to stop dreaming and get a “real job”.

    We’re all creative beings, and any job can be approached creatively. Indeed, pitting arts against sciences is missing the point that arts ARE sciences, and sciences ARE arts. There would be no point in chemical engineering if it wasn’t a creative field.

    So yes, fabulous talk. Just that we all need to see where our creativity lies, and how we can apply it fully – either in the work we already do, or by choosing a path that feeds it better. And daimons. Definitely.

  4. Wow, she is such a great talker! I am going to bookmark that speech to watch every time I forget that it is my job just to show up to the empty page or canvas. What happens after that is in the lap of the gods. Ole! 🙂 Amazing how often we need to be retold this in different ways by different people. I guess it is pushed out by all the pressure to ‘succeed’ coming from our culture and conditioning.

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