In her book Big Magic, writer Elizabeth Gilbert explains how to put fear in the back seat—literally. And we've brought it to life, in the video above.
Elizabeth Gilbert's message about fear is a gift, and one we want to give to you and those you love. We knew we wanted to make it into something beautiful—something to quickly and easily share, so please, take a moment, take a look, and you'll see what we mean. It's advice you want to give to everyone: your family, your friends, your coffee guy with the secret art project…It's a roadmap for creativity.
No doubt you've come across this gem from Elizabeth before, possibly in NPR's TED Radio Hour, when she explained how tough it was to summon the courage for a follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love.
Her point is that finding the balls to be creative is hard. It's scary. And you have to brave—but like many great people have said before (Aslan, anyone?,) bravery has nothing to do with a lack of fear. It's learning to live with fear. Lean into it, as it were. You don't need to go as far as embracing it, though. Just acknowledge it's there.
Elizabeth, being a writer, has a really great metaphor—one of the ones that transcends imagery and becomes a pretty solid mantra to live by. Basically, think of your creative journey (a.k.a. the time where you make the thing) like a road trip. You are driving. Creativity is in the front seat. Fear is along for the ride, which is fine, because like Elizabeth says, fear and creativity "are conjoined twins." A family member, if you will, that always needs to be included. But, like every road trip, you have to set down some ground rules.
And her road-trip rules are for life. She says to fear:
"You're allowed to have a seat, and you're allowed to have a voice. But you are not allowed to have a vote. You're not allowed to touch the road maps, or suggest detours. You're not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you're not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, you are absolutely forbidden to drive."
Excuse me, while I go and share this with everyone I know.