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Meet Your Creative Genie

by Ashish Kumar
0 comment 4 minutes read

Hola!! to everyone out there, specially to people of the fraternity.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to be a writer. All the work pressure, staying updated with the events of vicinity, worrying about the response and the list goes on endlessly. Some of the biggest fears that haunt me, as a writer are – fear of sounding too mechanical, lack of unique ideas and above all, getting rebuffed.


And, under such ever building pressure, I tend to put too many checks on my words, which is quite the opposite to counteracting the built up tension. And so do other artists. There are multiple examples of the past, wherein artists have capitulated to their own art and either have immensely dissipated into drugs or have killed themselves. May I put it in the words of Norman Mailer: “Every one of my books has killed me a little more.” This chaffed my infatuations about being an author. So, I turned to the Internet seeking the solution, wondering how do the aces of creative world keep themselves together.

My quest led me to Elizabeth Gilbert, the genius who has authored masterpieces like “Eat Pray Love”, “Big Magic” and “Committed”. Elizabeth describes being through the same dilemma as we are. And, her method of combating it is quite anachronistic but effective.

To keep herself sane and serene, Elizabeth has speculated a protective psychological construct which, as she describes, dates back to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. The times when people believed that creativity was too divine to have originated from one fragile human psyche. They thought of creativity as a heavenly attendant spirit, which guided you through the whole process of creating something. The Greeks called the spirit “Daemon”. Socrates himself believed that he had a Daemon and the queer thing is, he often spoke to it. On the other hand, the Romans called it “Genius”. Everybody had their own genius. So, if you created something which turned out to be extraordinary, you could not take the entire credit, which protected you from narcissism and kept you down to earth. But, if you bombed somehow, it was again, not entirely your fault.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Similar concepts of creativity were seen in the sand dunes of North Africa. Where when a dancer, while performing the traditional folk dance performed an exuberant piece, the people would shout “Allah!”. People actually believed, that the artist had been possessed by a divine spirit – The God. Western and more popular adaptation of this chic concept, the word “Allah!” is “Ole!”.

The entire concept circles around the idea of personifying your genius. Hence, leaving all the worries about responses and trite content to it and just focusing on your part of the job, viz performing and expecting the divine spirit to speak through you.

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