Writing & Creativity

What Elizabeth Gilbert Wants You to Know About Sex, Creativity, & Grief

June 3, 2019

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What does it take to move through soul-shattering grief? Can your creativity expand and flourish not in spite of but because of your most painful experiences? Why is sexual desire still so taboo, but key to living a fully expressed life?

When you get Elizabeth Gilbert and I together in a room, there’s no telling where the conversation will go. In today’s MarieTV, we don’t hold back.

Elizabeth wrote City of Girls while caring for the love of her life, Rayya, who passed from pancreatic and liver cancer. “What am I going to do now?” Elizabeth asked herself. “How am I going to create safety and the feeling of being seen in a Rayya-less world?”

City of Girls is her response. It’s glittering, hot, funny, and drenched in pleasure — and not at all the story you’d expect to come out of someone who’d just lost the love of her life. "I want this book to go down like a tray of champagne cocktails,” she says.

Set in the 1940’s New York theater scene, City of Girls tackles the antiquated idea of a ‘ruined woman.’ It sets forth a new narrative, celebrating the power of female desire and love. Like her other monster hits, Eat Pray Love, Big Magic, and The Signature of All Things — it’s a rollercoaster of truth and delight. I dare you to put it down.

In this moving conversation, Elizabeth inspires us to hold life more loosely, be lighter with our choices, and ultimately treat every setback as a creative challenge. You’ll also discover:

  • Why desire is just as important as consent when it comes to female sexuality.
  • An inside look into Elizabeth Gilbert's writing process (and where her inspiration comes from).
  • What four years of meticulous book research actually looks like.
  • Why you don’t have to be a “good girl” to be a good person
  • Why the opposite of depression isn’t happiness.
  • The surprising daily habit that helped her overcome grief.

Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the most dazzling and luminous writers of our generation. She invites us to challenge the rules, hunt down adventure, and bear hug the highs and lows of life.

DIVE DEEPER: Elizabeth Gilbert’s Moth talk (the one I referred to in this episode) can be found here.

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, Elizabeth and I would love to hear from you.

  1. What’s the biggest insight you’re taking away?
  2. What’s something you could do today that would bring you enjoyment, elevation, or transcendence? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Share as much detail as you can. Hundreds of thousands of souls come here for insight and inspiration. Your story may be just what someone needs to see things from a fresh perspective.

Thank you so much for watching, sharing, and encouraging this community with your voice. AND, if you’re looking for your next novel, get your hands on City of Girls now.

Our lives are ours to create.

As Elizabeth so beautifully demonstrates, no one gets to write your story but you.

With SO much love ❤️,


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