Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat. Pray. Love., gave a TED Talk about the drive to keep creating, and how that leads to success. “I had to find a way to make sure that my creativity outlived my success,” Gilbert said during her talk. After the success of her first book, she knew she could never write another Eat. Pray. Love. She didn’t want to let down her fans, but she knew it was inevitable. Although she considered quitting writing altogether, she persevered and has continued as a successful woman.
“Your home is whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself.” -Elizabeth Gilbert
As bad as it may sound, pretty much everything has come easy to me. Until the last year or so, everything has been a piece of cake. Throughout high school, I was able to get by (with A’s and B’s) with minimal effort. I never studied. I worked, but I didn’t work hard. Once I got to college, I realized that an outlook like that would get me nowhere. Looking back, if I had decided to put in as little effort as I had in high school, I would probably not be at Ball State this semester. I would have skipped classes, I wouldn’t have joined organizations, I wouldn’t have gone out and met people. In other words, college would really suck.
“Create. Even if it sucks. Keep creating.”
I’ve never considered myself a creative person. At all. I’m not good at drawing, I’m not a painter, I’m not a photographer. I’m not a scrapbooker. I’m not an artist. Until I came to college, I was hardly confident in my creative skills. I certainly don’t think I’m the best – I know that I have room to grow. Sometimes I can open InDesign or Illustrator and create a masterpiece in twenty minutes. Sometimes it takes me days to make one poster or to design one quote. Why is that? If I had the answer, I wouldn’t have the problem anymore. Some days I try to design and am horrified that I’m even considering a creative career. Some days, however, I feel like my aspirations are supported by my creativity. I do make things that suck. But I also keep creating. I know when I have reached my point of no return for the day, or for a design in general. I know when I need to step away for the day. Sometimes it takes a few days. But I am usually able to return to my work and complete it with a degree of excellence that I am proud of.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s idea that your home is whatever you like the most in this world is one I’m fond of, but one that I’m also a bit weary of. I wouldn’t put my passion for creating before my family, or even myself. Truthfully, it’s not that important. I think that when something comes between the things that are truly important in life, like friends and family, it’s become an addiction. I don’t want my passion to become an addiction. I want it to be something that I can go to when I have free time, or as something that I do in my career. My goal is to ensure that I love what I do, inside and outside of whatever my future job may be.
It’s important to keep creating. Never stop. No matter what you do – no matter if you’re in a creative field or not. Ideas. Designs. Feelings. Products. Keep creating. Be a prolific creator of important things. It doesn’t matter if they’re only important to you. Never stop creating.
(photo via tumblr)