Know your readers: Elizabeth Gilbert’s trick of writing with emotions

Los Angeles, Nov 19 (IANS) She often pens her own experiences in her books, and is known for using words to express her state of mind in an apt way. The author of “Eat, Pray, Love” – Elizabeth Gilbert says the magic trick for capturing the right expression in her work is knowing the target audience.

“Literally, my magic trick for writing is that you don’t begin writing a word of anything until you know exactly who you are writing for,” Gilbert said here during a special session at the ongoing Airbnb Open 2016 on Friday.

She became a part of the annual press conference hosted by the online community company to talk about her travel experiences during her book tours, business trips and how she likes to add the mantra she preaches in her own life.

Gilbert also emphasised on how some people are clueless about their target when they sit down to write.

“When you sit down, write directly to that person. Then human voice will come down to words and then expression to what you write,” she added.

Gilbert also shared the special moment when people came to her and said that it seemed she wrote it directly for them.

Gilbert made it big with her 2006 memoir “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across, Italy, India and Indonesia” — which narrates her experiences during her travel after her divorce from her first husband. The book got a cinematic translation in 2010 with actress Julia Roberts in the lead role.

Gilbert wrote an essay in 1997 talking about the time she worked in New York as a bartender. Her work got a Hollywood twist as it inspired the plot of “Coyote Ugly”.

She also wrote a memoir in 2010, “Committed”, in which she talks about her decision to marry Jose Nunes. She has now separated from Nunes, and is looking ahead to her new romantic endeavour with a female companion.

The author says she took up a mission to include the things that she talks about.

“I realized that I am not living what I write,” she said, adding that getting to do it was difficult for her.

She said: “The biggest obstacle to me is the sheer number of people I interact with on a daily basis… What I decided to do was to make sure that I actually met every single person who I met.”

She asked everyone about the one thing they are excited about in life. The responses over her travel to different cities and countries were mixed — happy, sad, energetic and angry.

There were also times when she thought of giving up on the creative experiment which she undertook for a four-month book tour for her self-help book “Big Magic”.

But in the end she was glad and satisfied that she didn’t, as the expression, the connections that she formed will stay forever with her.

(The writer’s trip is at the invitation of Airbnb. Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at