The first step in learning from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, is to figure out why her book was so successful. I mentioned the most obvious thing reason in 7/19/11 blog. Elizabeth Gilbert CAN WRITE. She unfolds the proverbial onion to expose her deepest emotions and reflects upon them with insight and charm. Compared to her use of emotion and reflection, my writing is two dimensional. Flat. Barely breathing. I don’t even think of half the things that come to her mind when I write about my emotions.
Another reason I believe Eat, Pray, Love is so successful is that she dissects and explains emotions and mental processes of two common human conditions:
- Craving the Divine
Ms. Gilbert dissects the emotions of her divorce with such raw honesty and insight that, with the divorce rate rising, millions share her emotions. And in doing so, she validates their emotions. Same with her search for the Divine.
And this is what a great writer does and that’s why their books sell.