Elizabeth Gilbert quote on creativity and privilege while talking to Jonathan Fields on Good Life Project

"Elizabeth Gilbert: The Creative Life" for Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields. Click to hear the entire conversation.

"Elizabeth Gilbert: The Creative Life" for Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields. Click to hear the entire conversation.

My favorite podcast* is Good Life Project in which writer and serial entrepreneur Jonathan Fields talks to thought leaders, authors, artists, entrepreneurs and other kinds of makers at the top of their game. With as much chaos we're exposed to on a daily basis, I HAVE to hunt down inspiring, positive messages as often as possible. Through this series, I've heard countless inspiring remarks from the people who discuss their ideas on this show. Today's listen grabbed my attention to such a degree that I had to share here; for those who also identify as creative **OR curious, this is for you:

In the September 21 episode, Jonathan talks to author Elizabeth Gilbert about about living "the creative life" and if I understand correctly, their talk was recorded about a week before the release of her new book, Big Magic, which hit stores this week. Near the end of their talk came one of the more sobering quotes I've heard, relating to facing the challenges that extreme creativity can often introduce.

I'll set it up: She's just expressed pleasure and gratitude at being able to live a creative life, herself. She declares it a privilege and admits to experiencing frustration from a certain reaction she sometimes encounters. Then she preaches a mini sermon to my people:

One of the reasons I get really annoyed when creative people start to get complainey is that I just think ‘Where’s your gratitude for the fact that you get to even do this... that you get to even try...’

’There are millions of people in the world who have virtually no agency over their lives whatsoever. And you’re lucky enough that you live in a world where you have even a tiny little bit of agency and you get to use it to interact with inspiration, which is the weirdest, most fascinating force in the universe and all you wanna do is be mad?? All you want to do is be mad at it? Where’s your gratitude? This is a really interesting thing that you get to do. Just ‘cause it didn’t work doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting, or it wasn’t worthy.’
— Elizabeth Gilbert to Jonathan Fields on Good Life Project Radio

This is me recommending that you listen to the whole hour. I'm going to listen to it again, though I can hear you saying you don't have time. (Like I might have said if I were reading this during this particular week, especially.) So listen in the car, or even the next time you're folding laundry (that's when I finished it!) or doing something else that lets you use your mind in that way in which a podcast won't interrupt the flow of important thoughts.

Trust me. The whole talk is its own sliver of magic.

That quote is just one of many that made me pause and reflect on her words. If you listen, maybe you'll share a bit in the comments about what you thought!

*Twenty minutes after publishing this, I bumped into the reason I should have listened to my instincts that I shouldn't use such an emphatic phrase as "my favorite" and that is when I remembered This American Life. So yeah. There's that. But I sure do like Good Life Project a lot.