Tag Archives: Elizabeth Gilbert

Liz Gilbert, Big Magic + Poet Laureates

Liz Gilbert, Big Magic + Poet Laureates

Liz Gilbert was recently interviewed by CBC radio host Shadrach Kabango about her book Big Magic: Creative Living Through Fear.

Here’s the part of the interview that whacked me over the head {in the best possible way}:

Interviewer: You have a faith, Elizabeth, that everyone can be creative.

LG: Yeah. I do.

Interviewer: There’s a lot of bad art out there…

LG: Don’t care.

Interviewer: There’s a lot of unoriginal art out there…

LG: Don’t care.

Interviewer: Why do you believe that?

LG: First of all, it’s such a subjective thing you just said because you and I could sit down right now and we could make a list of what we think are the ten most important and magnificent works of art in the world and odds are there’s going to be stuff on your list that doesn’t excite me or that I actually, flat out, think is bad and you would say the same of mine so you can show me the most perfect piece of art in the world and I can find you ten people who hate it. There are people who think that Sistine Chapel is cartoonish. (Laughs.) You know what I mean? Like, there are people that think Beethoven is a hack. It doesn’t matter. So I don’t care and I’m not interested in criticism. I find that to be the most absolutely boring part of the artistic process.

Interviewer: You include that with complaining and fear?

LG: Yeah. I don’t care. I don’t care. And somebody said to me the other day, “Aren’t you afraid your book is going to encourage a lot of people to make bad art?” First of all, the fact that you would even say that makes you sound like a jerk. One. And two, my concern is not that the world is full of bad art, which I’m not even sure it is, my concern is that there are all kinds of people in the world who believe somehow that this ~ our greatest shared human inheritance, the right to participate in creation, the right to become a person who is unfolding, the right to look for the jewels that are hidden within you, the right to leave a footprint on the world ~ that that only belongs to the elite, the trained, the professional and the tormented and I stand firmly as a populist. (Laughs.) I want to see people making things. Period.

You can listen to the full interview here. The section above begins at 13 minutes.


“The right to participate in creation, the right to become a person who is unfolding, the right to look for the jewels that are hidden within you, the right to leave a footprint on the world” ~ that’s the spirit of this new course. We won’t concern ourselves with questions of good versus bad art and we definitely won’t spend any of our valuable time comparing ourselves to others.

We are, however, going to make things!

Poet Laureate of Your Own Life begins on Monday! This is a twenty day course for twenty dollars. 🙂

Each day, the Poets will receive in their inbox:
* a poetic reflection about one aspect of being a Poet Laureate
* a writing prompt with an optional (fun) writing constraint to make things juicer
* one poem that I love
Each Friday we’ll meet our Poet Laureate of the Week, a woman who defines herself as a poet ~ among other things. These features will include an interview with the poet about her craft as well as one of her poems.

Poet Laureates are invited to share their poetry at our secret and private Facebook group. All feedback will be celebratory.

If you’ve been on the fence, jump on down and join us.


The Sunday List {25}


Here are some lovely things that I’ve enjoyed recently:

Elizabeth Gilbert’s posts on her Facebook page. Her new book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear comes out on 22nd September and here’s the story of the cover.

This article: S is for Space: A-Z of Simple Living.

Damien’s From poem ~ his homework for Geography of Now.

How to become a better person from The School of Life. {This video is 4 minutes and 10 seconds in length.}

PicMonkey: Free Online Photo Editing

Dr. Elaine Aron defines the highly sensitive person (HSP) as someone with a sensitive nervous system who is aware of subtleties in his/her surroundings and is more easily overwhelmed when in a highly stimulating environment. Here’s a test to help you determine whether you are an HSP. If you are, you will LOVE The Highly Sensitive Person Podcast.

What has been catching your attention lately?

The Sunday Reader: Monkeys that sneak into your circus

book {Photograph: Damien Pitter}

I’ve started this new thing. It’s a newsletter called The Sunday Reader. [Yup. I send it on Sundays. Every second week.}

Here’s an excerpt from this week’s Reader:

The Colombians I encountered in Cali were, generally speaking, very happy people. RHEs. Radical Happiness Experts. They were relaxed and welcoming and loved to sing and dance. My flatmate and I joked that two Colombians + a radio = a party. The list of things that they were NOT includes (but is not limited to) the following: organized, punctual, adept at forming lines and being silent (ever). The truly troubling thing for me was that they did not give a rat’s ass about how we do things in Canada. We’re talking about an extreme level of indifference. If not caring about efficiency methods employed by the citizens of other countries were an Olympic sport, I can tell you right now that The Colombians would win Gold. Every single year.

You would think that I would have learned my lesson quickly. Oh! I’m in South America. They do things differently here. Colombians view the world differently. Please begin adapting now.

You would think.

{I just read that last part to DP and he said perhaps that’s what they are saying over the PA system as you arrive at the Cali airport. “Please begin adapting now.” But you don’t know because it’s in Spanish.}


So far, the writing in The Reader is more personal and intimate than most of my posts. If this sounds interesting + you’d like to read the rest of this week’s Reader, subscribe at the bottom of this post or over here.



The Sunday List {24}

sunny afternoon

{Starbucks Cafe at T-Site in Daikenyama, Tokyo}

Recently, I’ve been working on my website. Sprucing it up… but also simplifying things at the same time. I had accumulated more than 60 categories and I have now cut them down to four: create, home, wander and thrive.

Today, I’ve presented my Sunday List offerings in these four categories.

1. NPR Music Tiny Desk Concerts:
Lyle Lovett
Rufus Wainwright
Swell Season (Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova)
John Legend
2. “Ones and Zeros” by Jack Johnson (Live) on Q with Jian Ghomeshi (CBC Radio)
3. Pascale Picard ~ Runaway (Video)
4. Ben Folds Five ~ Brick (Video)
5. Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating. TED Talk, March 2014, Vancouver.
6. The Big Leap (Lacoste commercial) + Lacoste ‘The Big Leap’ – Behind the scenes

9 Common Pursuits That Rob Us of Happiness from Becoming Minimalist

Here are some new additions to our living room. The Moroccan rug is from Rugs USA (ironic) and the new pillows are from a French company called Jules Pansu. Poor DP! When these items arrived he said, “Oh. I thought you were done.”



On Thursday my mother arrives for ten lovely days in Japan. She and I are taking the train to the seaside town of Shimoda, at the tip of the Izu Peninsula. I fell madly in love with Shimoda when we made our first trip in March and I am hoping that my mother will enjoy it as much as I did!


What have you been reading and watching and designing of late?

Saturday Morning Video Anthology

Here’s a collection of ideas, images and sounds to inspire & and make you happy this weekend.

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity
From TED: Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses – and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.
TED talk, February 2009
19 minutes, 32 seconds (Thanks, Annie, for the reminder)

Jodie Foster Inside the Actors Studio: Taxi Driver Clip
2 minutes, 10 seconds

Les Passagers : A TCK Story
From Vimeo: Trailer cut for an OMI documentary special about Third Culture Kids and their journey to find where they belong.
Directed by Aga Magdolen/Edited by Kalen Hayman
8 minutes, 40 seconds

The Distiller: Made by Hand
From website: In our inaugural film, we visit the Breuckelen Distilling Company, the first gin distiller in Brooklyn since prohibition. Founder Brad Estabrooke talks about starting from nothing and the imperfect process of perfecting a craft. His experience bears a lesson for us all: knowing you could fail brings you that much closer to success.
6 minutes, 9 seconds (Found by DP)

Rain Man by indigo jam unit
This song is from the album Roots
6 minutes, 25 seconds

Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine
From TED: What was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution? Hans Rosling makes the case for the washing machine. With newly designed graphics from Gapminder, Rosling shows us the magic that pops up when economic growth and electricity turn a boring wash day into an intellectual day of reading.
TED talk, December 2010
9 minutes, 16 seconds

For Lovers Only: Film Trailer
From YouTube: After seeing each other for the first time in years while on separate work assignments in Paris, the lovers flee together and travel by train, car and motorcycle, as their love affair takes them across France – from Normandy to St. Tropez.
Note: I have not yet seen this film but the trailer is gorgeous.
Director: Michael Polish/ Writer: Mark Polish
2 minutes, 1 second

What are you watching and listening to now? What is rocking your world?