Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert

As for discipline – it’s important, but sort of over-rated. The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness. Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you. You will make vows: “I’m going to write for an hour every day,” and then you won’t do it. You will think: “I suck, I’m such a failure. I’m washed-up.” Continuing to write after that heartache of disappointment doesn’t take only discipline, but also self-forgiveness (which comes from a place of kind and encouraging and motherly love). The other thing to realize is that all writers think they suck. When I was writing “Eat, Pray, Love”, I had just as a strong a mantra of THIS SUCKS ringing through my head as anyone does when they write anything. But I had a clarion moment of truth during the process of that book. One day, when I was agonizing over how utterly bad my writing felt, I realized: “That’s actually not my problem.” The point I realized was this – I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly; I only promised the universe that I would write. So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows.
Elizabeth Gilbert

5 comments:

furiousBall said...

You know I think her point is valid, but it's really whatever works for you. John Lennon was tortured with song ideas while trying to fall asleep. He'd get up and work. I think he described it as being demons on his shoulder whispering new melodies into his ears. Tiger Woods commonly disparages himself while working on his game. Some self defeatism is OK, but I think charting the course is important - you just have to make sure you enjoy some of the voyage.

V-Grrrl said...

She sobs quietly to herself because she can't write a clever comment and she promised herself she wouldn't leave lame ones ANYMORE... ; )

Di Mackey said...

I love writing simply because I'm on the journey too ... I can never plan how it's going to appear, what shape it will take and etc. It reveals itself slowly ... but only if I can ignore the 'this sucks' voice.

Silly V, you don't leave lame comments. They're often read aloud to whoever's around, amid much laughter. It's the fog and freezing cold day that made you use the L word.

Anonymous said...

I think Gilbert should have listened to that voice. "Eat Pray Love" does suck. Sorry to be so vulgar but I just put the book down, upset that I'd wasted my life on the first 100 pages. Best-selling definitely does not equal quality.

cr said...

I agree I am just starting to read this book and I will finish it because I can't not finish a book no matter how bad it is... but this book does suck.