Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert makes a strong case for depersonalizing genius and creativity (see link below).  If we were to return to older ways of referring to genius as something one has as opposed to is, we make room for error as well as fuller success, thus freeing ourselves up a bit.  (More than a bit, probably.)

My cousin’s daughter said recently as she was painting “What?  I’m drawing an airplane?  I was supposed to be drawing a bird!”  It got me wondering whether perhaps kids are freer creatively not only because they haven’t yet figured out that we have the distinction between “good” and “bad” but because they don’t experience as direct a connection between their selves and what they create as older people do.  If that’s true, it also raises interesting questions about their behavior in general, and could explain a lot of the impasse at which so many parents and kids find themselves when it comes to expectations of behavior (at any age).

I think it’d be interesting to imagine how we might nurture creativity in kids if we saw it as something to have and not something to be.  Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk has more to offer than the bit I’ve written here.  Have a look, see what it offers in how you are with your kids and their art (and other behavior), and let me know what you think.

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