Inspiration and Creativity – Emily Eldridge

This month in weekly Formation we’ve been talking about creativity. Last week, we watched a TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert (the author of Eat, Pray, Love). She talked about the pressures of creativity, and how inspiration used to be seen as something outside of the creator. Genius was something that came from someplace else, choosing to speak through one person or another, not something some people had. I was thinking of her words yesterday when we had a project to do and I said I didn’t have an inspiration gremlin.
All of that is to say that I got home tonight knowing I needed to write a blog post and I had not a single inspiration gremlin for it. Yesterday Henry suggested using my lack of inspiration as a subject for the project, so that’s where I decided to start with tonight’s blog post.
Creativity is not an easy thing, but I often think it comes to me easily. Except, of course, in those moments when inspiration is absent. And while it can be easy for me to create, it gets much harder when you add the expectation that what you create will be shared with others. That was part of the TED talk too: creativity is vulnerability. Especially because genius is now thought of as personal, we feel that what we create is only worth sharing if it’s amazing, and we fear other people thinking that what we create isn’t good.
This also applies to this blog post. Though I am creative in general, a pretty good writer if I do say so myself (I get it from my dad), and – I am coming to realize – I process thoughts best and communicate most clearly on paper, writing blog posts scares me. Writing in a journal, or even publishing an anonymous post, would be a lot easier than trying to find the right words to share.
The TED talk came to the conclusion that you should create anyway. Even if the gremlin isn’t showing up, even if you don’t think what you’re making is good enough: create anyway. So this is my blog post about not knowing what to blog about, and this is the painting an inspiration gremlin showed up for yesterday.20171219_111452.jpg

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