I just watched Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on reverting the concept of the genius back to being a separate magical entity that occasionally helps out creative people. Just like my last TED post about Mae Jemison, this talk wasn’t over-the-top impressive, but it made up for it in thought provocation (rw?).
Elizabeth Gilbert's Tiny Head at TED
Author of Eat, Pray, Love (which I have not read but have seen the cover in bookstores and online), Ms. Gilbert argues that creative people suffer from the pressure of constantly having to do something great, and if they don’t, they would have serious mental implications. From the writers and musicians she interviewed, She vividly describes examples of the alternative approach to such dangerous creative process.
She then prescribes that the only thing that creative people have to do is their job, and if that wiff of brilliance arrives in their work, Olé. If not, it’s okay, because the writers or the musicians or artists have done their job and shouldn’t be pressured or ridiculed for not producing great work.
Gilbert, being a writer, describes it a lot better than I do, so I think it’s worth listening to her talk.
Visually Losing Perspective
On a separate topic, I was watching this TED talk full screen on my monitor, with all my lights off. Then after a while, I started to see my large widescreen as a tiny rectangle in the distance. And because of the clothes that Ms. Gilbert was wearing, her head became even tinier, and I felt like everything was floating in space and I didn’t have a ground.
This has happened to me many times before, and it’s cool but terrifying at the same time, like I was losing my mind. Has this phenomenon happened to anyone before (without being on drugs)?