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Be On the Lookout for Fresh Concepts

| On 19, Mar 2009

Lynda Curtin

Be on the lookout for fresh concepts: sometimes you have to start over. —– UC Riverside: The Arts and Letters Lecture Series: An Evening with Elizabeth Gilbert; March 12, 2009 Palm Springs, California. —– 


Elizabeth Gilbert is noted for her number one best selling memoir Eat, Pray Love published by Viking in 2006. I decided to share with you two thoughts that occurred to me regarding innovation as I listened to her talk about her journey writing this book.



  1. Be on the lookout for fresh concepts. Most readers of this book are women. Elizabeth shared a story about a man who would read her book on the subway but would hide the cover by wrapping it in a magazine. He didn’t want to be “outed.” What a great value screen for some innovations – the concept of being “outed.” You can add this concept to your value screen list if you like and use it when it makes sense.
  2. Sometimes you have to stop and start over. While writing her next book on marriage Elizabeth kept feeling that her manuscript wasn’t good, it just didn’t feel right. This feeling wouldn’t go away. Two weeks before the deadline to the publisher she finally gave into her gut instinct and told the publisher she wouldn’t be submitting her manuscript and returned the advance; a gutsy move. This cleared the air for her. She was sparked with new energy, started fresh and wrote a new manuscript that felt right.

Stopping and starting over can be very difficult to do. The trick is recognizing when you need to stop and start over. Paying attention and listening to your feelings – gut instinct (red hat) can help.


I have since discovered that Elizabeth Gilbert made a presentation at the TED 2009 February conference titled “A Different Way to Think About Creative Genius.” Click here to watch it. About 20 minutes.


Until next time …