Zany: "To thine own self be kind," says Gilbert

This past Tuesday, I had the opportunity to listen to Elizabeth Gilbert at the Eisemann Center in Richardson, Texas as part of the Arts & Letters Live series hosted by the Dallas Museum of Art. If you haven't already guessed from previous posts, Gilbert is one of my favorite (currently living) authors. Her easy and authentic prose is a style I try to emulate.

I want to share the gold nuggets of inspiration Gilbert passed along to her audience…Enjoy:

  • "Listen to the whispers or soon you'll be listening to the screams." Gilbert's Brazilian husband reminded her of this saying as Gilbert struggled with the writing of her latest book. Surprisingly, the book is about marriage. The day she went to Kinkos to print out the manuscript for her publisher, Gilbert realized the book did not sound like her and she could not connect with the writing on the pages. Gilbert asked her publisher to delay the book after she became physically ill with the notion of releasing the book as is. Gilbert took six months to clear her mind. She packed the book in a box and hid it underneath her bed. Gilbert built a home, started a garden and got a cat named Clifford…all firsts for this energetic and travel-bound author.
  • "Drawing is taking a line for a walk." Gilbert quoted artist Paul Klee and said she followed this line of thinking when she took the manuscript from underneath her bed and began to work once again on the project. The manuscript (recently completed) was reborn with a perfect first sentence giving birth to another sentence building another sentence.
  • "Writing is how I figure out what I am thinking." If you read EPL, you know it was Gilbert's intention never to remarry. Life changes. Gilbert married the Brazilian from EPL and now they live happily in New Jersey. However, marriage was a necessity enforced by DHS! For ten months, Gilbert and her fiance lived in Southeast Asia while his visa requirements were put in order. During that time…before the dreaded "m" word took place, Gilbert researched the history of marriage and examined her opposing feelings.

Gilbert wrapped up the one hour talk and twenty minutes Q & A by saying, "To thine own self be kind." Listen to your body for it will speak truer than your mind or heart.

A positively brilliant and inspiring talk! Gilbert even signed both of my books (EPL in English and Portuguese)! I am still riding the high…

Some zany related elements to share:

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  • Laura

    I’m so glad you posted this video. Several people have recommended this book to me, and having heard the author speak, it just floated to the top of my must-read stack.

  • Lauren Vargas

    Laura…do go to the first link in post and view her TED talk! AWESOME! She is so witty in person.