Elizabeth Gilbert's latest book is Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.
From her Q & A with Elizabeth Day at the Guardian:
You say in Big Magic you were a fearful child. Are you braver now?Learn about five books that changed Elizabeth Gilbert.
I was born a really fearful kid, really anxious, supersensitive. Other words you could use would be “a pain in the ass”. I grew up with a mother who was really strong. It was an interesting collision of these two characters. My mother’s biggest fear was raising daughters who wouldn’t be able to take care of themselves. She knew bad things happened to women who waited for other people to do stuff for them.
We did have this pretty serious battle of wills when I was younger. A psychologist might take issue with her tactics – she certainly wasn’t about embracing vulnerability, talking out my feelings. It was: “Too bad, you have to do this.” More like a coach.
In adolescence, I got bored of being that person who kept trying to prove her weakness and fragility. What a weird battle: to be trying to defend your weakest point! It came to a point where I thought, I don’t want to die on that hill. I owe my mother only everything and nothing more than that.
Do you think women in particular find it harder to take creative risks because they’re too worried about failing?
Sure. In fact, I think it’s possibly the greatest obstacle to women participating in a more vibrant and robust way. Certainly, there’s good old patriarchy and misogyny but...[read on]