Freshly tossed, your regular Link Salad is a mix of writing-related articles, inspiring videos, pep talks, funnies, author interviews, served with a sprinkle of book release news and a drizzle of anything and everything that makes us as writers – and humans – laugh, cry, and fangirl over.
Some speeches move us. Others galvanise us. Here are a few of our favourite videos on self-compassion, fear, and reason for being that we would like to share this week:
We have no words left to describe the sublimity of bestselling author Liz Gilbert (you might have heard of a little book called Eat, Pray, Love?). Her latest book, Big Magic, was another phenomenal success, because it addresses the issue of creativity and fear that we all secretly want to talk about but don’t, because society deems these as trivial fluff.
But creativity is anything but fluff. It’s the invisible companion in your life that makes you excited about life itself, that gets you asking questions and constantly challenging yourself. Liz has given multiple talks on this topic (and her book is a gold mine of wisdom and kindness), but this recent one stood out because of that bit she said at around 19:23. Your ikigai, your raison d’être, your reason for being.
We as writers know very clearly that writing is the one thing that brings us to life, that restores us, and that provides us with the best escape from the demands of daily life. That’s why this talk is so inspiring – it’s a reminder of what we love doing, and we need to keep on doing it, for the sake of our souls and our spirit.
Liz has many more nuggets of wisdom on her podcast channel, Magic Lessons, at her website. We definitely recommend you checking them out!
2. How to Find Fulfilling Work – The School of Life
If you’re not already subscribed to this channel, we suggest that you do it right away. The videos (narrated by philosopher and author Alain de Botton) are incredibly insightful and engaging, and you feel like you’ve just walked out of the therapist’s room armed with that much more understanding about the world and yourself.
This particular video about how to find fulfilling work addresses the issue of career crisis and anxiety over decisions we have to make about the jobs we choose. It’s definitely something we can all relate to, and hopefully this helps you gain some insight to yourself and what you want out of your career!
3. The Power of Introverts – Susan Cain
An oldie but a goodie. Susan Cain, champion of introverts, finds that most of society right now celebrates extroversion and condemns introversion. She posits that society needs to value introverts as equally as it adores extroverts because of the many different things both camps can bring to the table.
Many writers are introverts. We like to retreat into our world and tinker around with words, dreams up new worlds and characters and spin an entire story around the things going on in our heads. But while society holds published authors in high esteem, the journey of the author before he or she gets to that stage is usually tumultuous and riddled with judgement and criticism, mainly because we are seen as anti-social, or in Cian’s words, “mellow”.
So writers – particularly introverted writers – we hope this video helps to shore up your conviction in the trajectory of your dreams, to disregard the labels and judgement society places on you just because you would rather be alone than with poor company, because most of the time contemplating on your own is when your best ideas come about for the stories only you can tell.
4. What I Learned from 100 Days of Rejection – Jia Jiang
We’ve lost count of the number of times we burst out laughing during this speech. It’s hilarious, honest, and directs us to this truth: the more times you get rejected, the less it will sting. And you can turn your rejection around to benefit you. It ties in with Liz Gilbert’s idea of fear as a passenger in the car who gets to be there with us (the drivers) but doesn’t have any say in the destination or how to get there.
There’s something very empowering about not having to DESTROY or FIGHT your fears, but have them with us, experience the discomfort that their presence brings, as we journey towards our goals. So we say, embrace your fears as you open your Word document (or whatever medium/platform you write on) – fear of failing, fear of being bad writers – let your fears sit next to you as you continue on with devotion and diligence to your story.
What are some of your thoughts on those videos? Do you have any old favourites you go back to again and again to get inspired? We would love to hear from you!