Event report: Elizabeth Gilbert

I went to see Elizabeth Gilbert on
Saturday, October 10th, 2015
and it was awesome!
I just finished her book that day, and I really loved it!
I made notes of cheer (I’ll post that post here too!)
and headed out with my notebook in hand.

I ended up going with a writer friend
and a yoga/business coach friend.
We took the back way around the high school,
which was pretty funny
and turned into sort of a little hike/parkour challenge,
but we finally got in.

Once we did, we were told the balcony was the only seating, so we hopped up there.
After taking all the selfies and the pictures,
we settled in for a good talk.
IMG_3081.JPGMy two friends :)IMG_3080.JPGAll three of us!IMG_3079.JPGIn the balcony and ready!

I got my pen ready to take some sketchnotes.

Now, I think maybe I would have to SKETCH a little more for them to be sketchnotes,
but I’m going to call them that anyway.
I take notes all over the page and try to make things stand out. And I do it in real time; I don’t want to spend a large amount of time after the fact working on them.

So I’ll share the ones that I did here,
and talk a little bit about each bit too,
How’s that for an idea?
Ok, here we go:
GILBERT1_0001Gotta write the name and the place. I find this sort of information INVALUABLE when I go back and look at old notes.

I thought it was GREAT that she talked to her audience on Facebook about what was holding them back creatively.
She basically asked what her audience was struggling with and then wrote them a book helping them with that.
That’s great content marketing right there, and practically reading minds! All of this sounded very familiar to me; (here’s a seanwes video about it, and another! He did two!)

She read a lot of chapters from her book; 7 to be exact!
I like to mark this stuff down because it is research for when I do book talks and read my books in front of audiences.

Granted, I’ll have a picture book first, but who knows? Maybe I’ll have longer books. The chapters were very short so it didn’t take that long. This was a great way to give people an idea of what the book was about in case they didn’t read it yet, and it sort of served as an introduction to the whole talk.
IMG_3083.JPGBlurry but that’s what she looked like zoomed in from the balcony!
GILBERT2The top quote is one straight from the book, except that I wrote life and instead of light. Oh well, I fixed it in a pretty way. I just love his quote so thought it should go in the notes. The next notes are responses to questions from the audience.

Life is your friend…is a response to someone who asked if she’s being too spontaneous because she’s sort of run into the same patterns when she tries things.

Passion change…is a response to a guy Elizabeth had interviewed almost 20 years before at a Renaissance Festival (yes, he was a knight!) and now he can’t do that anymore, because he doesn’t have the people or the horses or the physical stature to do it anymore.

There’s Nothing, Don’t Follow, and Create…are all a response to a woman who brought her adorable child along. She asked how she could write a book that was so personal and not worry about how people would react. Then Elizabeth asked her the right question: has she started writing this book yet? The woman said everyone was telling her too…but now, she hadn’t written it yet. So all those things are things she said to her.

I may have to use that for a three words project.

GILBERT3Passion: I love this.
It’s not enough to follow your passion.
You have to be able to live too.
And I love what she said about people either don’t know what it is or already ARE following it.
Which boat are you in?

Loved the bit about creativity, and I find it to be true.
It may feel selfish, but people see you doing what you love and it makes them think about what they love.
I have been told before that I’m a bright light by people,
it’s sort of weird.
They just come up to me and say,
“You just shine. Just wanted you to know.”
It’s happened a lot; my parents obviously chose the right name for me!
(Kathy Ellen means pure light, btw)

The part about too small and the one thing you want to do that day is regarding saying no to things. She said it gets harder as you get older because you keep finding more and more things that you want to do, and you have to end up saying no to a lot of good things to say yes to a few great things. I’m already feeling that way, but I try to keep an eye on it.

LOVED the talk on vocation and career too.
There was a chapter on it in the book as well.
I feel that way about writing.
I want it to be my CAREER,
but that is entirely beyond my control.
So I do something else to make money so I write and still love it.

GILBERT4One woman put her entire life story out there, and said the had been through a lot of stuff since being a succesful young artist. She said she was bitter about art and didn’t want to feel that way anymore. What could she do? Elizabeth answered with the bit at the top.

Re: One of the contracts, this was a question from a woman who is living the creative dream. She’s helping other women and loves her job, but she wants a kid. She’s not sure how she’s going to go about doing this, because she’s currently without a “baby daddy” (her words, not mine!) and she wanted to know if it was possible to still keep up all this creativity stuff and have a family. Ultimately, Liz talked to her and figured out that the woman was mostly petrified that she wouldn’t be able to control what happened once the kid was born; that things would change. But Liz convinced her that she’s been through lots of tough stuff before and been alright, so why shouldn’t that be the case now?

And the NPR bit is about her conversation on NPR.
The last bit at the bottom is really awesome.

Liz could not stay and meet everyone.
She could not personalize books.
She had to go.
She’s had been on tour three weeks before coming to see us in Santa Cruz,
And is touring all the way until Christmas (minus Halloween, because she loves Halloween!)

She spent a few minutes talking about why she couldn’t meet with each and every one of us, and how sad that made her feel. I really appreciated that she did that; a lot of people might have thought, “How dare she not stay and sign books?” but I understand.
IMG_3082.JPGShe signed all of our books ahead of time.

We also ended the day by singing a song together.
Do you know it?

It was really fun.

What a great event!
I was really impressed to hear Liz quoting her book in her answers.
Someone would ask a question and she would give nearly word for word what she wrote down in the book.
This to me proves that she is living the book instead of just writing it and moving on.
This is stuff that is so deep within her that she just knows what to say when the questions come up.

Here’s my review I posted about it on instagram.

by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book is magic you guys!
It’s packed with short chapters
to get you thinking about your creative process
and inspire you to get more in touch with it.

There are six parts: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, and Divinity. In each section there are stories and examples, but basically it’s like listening to Liz talk about creativity and how she interacts with it. It feels like you’re talking to someone who has been there and wants to help you work with your creativity too.

I loved the short chapters and calls to action in practically each chapter. She’s constantly reminding you that you’ve got to do the work, be open to creativity, and how it is big magic and it’s not. It’s not a life or death thing we’re doing with our creativity, but it still matters!

I got to hear her speak and it was really inspiring. There are so many quotables here, and I love that you can open up the book, read the chapter that will help you with where you are at the moment, and put it back on the shelf to reference again in the future. Check this one out. It’s awesome!

What a good book and what a good event!
IMG_3089.JPGLike I said, we left notes of cheer around the high school. A post on that will be coming soon, but here’s a sneak peek, even though it’s blurry!

Hope you had fun reading along!


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