There are times I can be reflective, like when I have a doctor’s appointment or a plane to catch. When I heard Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, was coming on book tour for her new book Committed, I called Changing Hands Bookstore and reserved a ticket. I wrote the date and time of her lecture on my kitchen calendar.
Reading Eat, Pray, Love is a journey of insight, like traveling to a new land for the first time.
Image found here.
Never had I read a memoir where the writing impressed me as much as the actual plot. The premise of the book is this:
In her mid-thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert is faced with divorce. In the middle of the night while crying on the bathroom floor, she asks God what she should do with her life. He tells her for the next year she is to focus on three things: Eat, Pray and Love.
Her new book Committed is just as inviting.
At the lecture, she read the first chapter of Committed to the audience. For such a personal and somewhat cynical topic, there was a lot of laughter from the crowd. On some level, we can all relate to her ideas. I contemplate my own love and my own journey of commitment. I wish the counselor was with me so I could hold his hand.
After Eat, Pray, Love, she felt a lot of pressure to write another best seller. She wrote a 500 page manuscript only to later feel, “The voice didn’t sound like me. The voice sounded like something coming through a megaphone, mistranslated.”
She put the manuscript in a box under her bed and started over.
This was the point in her lecture I did the most soul-searching. How is this even possible? A 500 page manuscript is a huge chunk of life to hide away, but is it really wasted? I realized for writers, writing is somewhat like talking. We write down words and sometimes they really mean something and sometimes we just had to work through our emotions. If a best-selling author has to start over, I shouldn’t feel too discouraged if I have to do the same thing too.
But not really.
I was moved by her message, inspired by the words “I am stronger than I am,” a phrase
I am stronger than I am, I am stronger than I am, I am stronger than I am.