If you are a creative person and pursuing a career in a creative industry and/or field, you should check out Elizabeth Gilbert's lecture on TED Talks.
Elizabeth attended New York University, where she studied political science by day and worked on her short stories by night. After college, she spent several years traveling around the country, working in bars, diners and ranches, collecting experiences to transform into fiction. These explorations eventually formed the basis of her first book - a short story collection calledPILGRIMS, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award. During these early years in New York, she also worked as a journalist for such publications as Spin, GQ and The New York Times Magazine. She was a three-time finalist for The National Magazine work, and an article she wrote in GQ about her experiences bartending on the Lower East Side eventually became the basis for the movie COYOTE UGLY.
In 2000, Elizabeth published her first novel, STERN MEN (a story of brutal territory wars between two remote fishing islands off the coast of Maine) which was a New York Times Notable Book. In 2002, Elizabeth published THE LAST AMERICAN MAN - the true story of the modern day woodsman Eustace Conway. This book, her first work of non-fiction, was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Elizabeth is best known, however for her 2006 memoir EAT PRAY LOVE, which chronicled her journey alone around the world, looking for solace after a difficult divorce. The book was an international bestseller, translated into over thirty languages, with over 10 million copies sold worldwide, and a movie version in the making, starring Julia Roberts. The book became so popular that, in 2008, Time Magazine named Elizabeth as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
In 2010, Elizabeth published a follow-up to EAT PRAY LOVE called COMMITTED -- a memoir which explored her ambivalent feelings about the institution of marriage. The book immediately became a number one New York Times bestseller, and was also received with warm critical praise. As Newsweek wrote, COMMITTED "retains plenty of Gilbert's comic ruefulness and wide-eyed wonder", and NPR called the book "a rich brew of newfound insight and wisdom." COMMITTED will be published in paperback in February 2011.