Day #547: Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, Failure, and the Drive to Keep Creating

Eat, Pray, Love is the modern-day definition of a literary success: a staple on several bestseller lists when it first came out, the novel became a film adaptation starring Julia Roberts. But soon after, author Elizabeth Gilbert felt stuck, so burdened by her own hype that she considered never writing another book.

“I had to find a way to make sure that my creativity survived its own success,” she said. “And I did, in the end, find that inspiration, but I found it in the most unlikely and unexpected place. I found it in lessons that I had learned earlier in life about how creativity can survive its own failure.”

Gilbert began relating back to her early days struggling to first get published, the six years of rejection letters that didn’t stop her from pursuing her passion.

“I loved writing more than I hated failing at writing, which is to say that I loved writing more than I loved my own ego, which is ultimately to say that I loved writing more than I loved myself. And that’s how I pushed through it,” the author said.

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