My wife read "Eat, Pray, Love" and really enjoyed it. The author, Elizabeth Gilbert, just came to Harvard Square to a packed church to speak about her new book "Committed." My wife and daughter attended. They said Ms. Gilbert recommended that writers spend their time getting things down on paper and refining it, and joining writer's groups for feedback, rather than spending their precious time and money in graduate writing programs, or worrying what other people think of their ideas, because it's the writers who are actually doing the work of writing, not their critics.
She has certainly given many people a lot of joy, a result of her finding her own voice, expressing her honest opinions, and letting them fly.