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2 days ago
“What I’m saying is this: If my plan is to sit around waiting for another such unadulterated and impassioned creative visitation, I may be waiting for a very long time. So I don’t sit around waiting to write until my genius decides to pay me a visit. If anything, I have come to believe that my genius spends a lot of time waiting around for me—waiting to see if I’m truly serious about this line of work. I feel sometimes like my genius sits in the corner and watches me at my desk, day after day, week after week, month after month, just to be sure I really mean it, just to be sure I’m really giving this creative endeavor my wholehearted effort. When my genius is convinced that I’m not just messing around here, he may show up and offer assistance. Sometimes that assistance will not arrive until two years into a project. Sometimes that assistance will not last for more than ten minutes.
When that assistance does arrive—that sense of the moving sidewalk beneath my feet, the moving sidewalk beneath my words—I am delighted, and I go along for the ride. In such instances, I write like I am not quite myself. I lose track of time and space and self. While it’s happening, I thank the mystery for its help. And when it departs, I let the mystery go, and I keep on working diligently anyhow, hoping that someday my genius will reappear.
I work either way, you see—assisted or unassisted—because that is what you must do in order to live a fully creative life. I work steadily, and I always thank the process. Whether I am touched by grace or not, I thank creativity for allowing me to engage with it at all.
Because either way, it’s all kind of amazing—what we get to do, what we get to attempt, what we sometimes get to commune with.
—Elizabeth Gilbert, “Big Magic”