Friday, September 16, 2011


Have you seen this TED Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert? She discusses her theory about creativity not being inherent in the person, but instead the source of the creativity is outside ourselves, visited upon us by a being history has called a Genius. She shares some funny, interesting, even fascinating stories of the creative process from this perspective.

I'm not a morning person. At all. My bladder disagrees, and I typically wake between 5am and 6am, but I'm back asleep less than 5 minutes later, 99% of the time. This morning was different. I was on the edge of sleep when my brain clicked ON. It was almost audible. My brain was on fire with different thoughts - web copy, sales copy, to do tasks, ideas, pricing, staffing needs, things I'd previously forgotten... on and on it whirled for 20 minutes, until I finally gave in, grabbed a pen, and tried to write it down in the dark to shut it up.

It worked. Kinda. By then it was too late to get more rest, but I did feel a sense of peace in my head for a short time, until the edges of sleep began to curl around me once more. Having experienced this kind of visitation before, I knew that sleep at that point would simply create a crabby mommy when the boys got up in 20 minutes, so today my day started early. Wish me luck.

Here are a couple of example photos - one being my normal 'brain-dump' list-making style. The other, my 5am Genius writing. I've got about 8  pages of the 5am Genius writing. It was so dark I could see the notebook, but not the writing I'd put on it. My hope was that I was legible enough to read in the daylight. Luckily, it seems mostly coherent.

5am Genius writing:

Normal 'brain-dump' writing:

Take the 20 minutes to watch the TED Talk. The story about the poet is simply compelling.

Hope you have a visit from your Genius when you can best receive it.

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