Recently I was asked to write a piece on creative fatigue – when it feels as if you just can’t summon an original idea even if your life (or salary) depends on it.
It’s a really interesting topic and a state that I’ve found myself in many a time. And when you speak to anyone who regularly has to generate ideas you’ll find that it’s pretty commonplace – even for those who make creativity look easy. Whilst I was doing research for the article for Creative Moment I was reminded of this great TED talk from Eat, Pray, Love writer Elizabeth Gilbert.
Now I’ll admit to being a total fangirl of this awesome woman, and here she speaks eloquently about where ideas come from, and her personal journey when it came to writing her follow-up book. She is constantly asked about how she can possibly do it for a second time:
“Everywhere I go now, people treat me like I’m doomed. Seriously – doomed, doomed! Aren’t you afraid you’re never going to be able to top that? Aren’t you afraid you’re going to keep writing for your whole life and you’re never again going to create a book that anybody in the world cares about at all, ever again?”
She talks about ‘capriciousness’ of creativity and reminds us that sometimes you just have to try.
“Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be.
If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your efforts, then “Olé!” And if not, do your dance anyhow. And “Olé!” to you, nonetheless.I believe this and I feel that we must teach it.“Olé!” to you, nonetheless, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.”