Title: Big Magic
My rating: 5/5
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
I still cannot help raving over this book. This came at the most opportune time for me, new year, new goals, new me! I was not sure what I was expecting when I first started it, but now I wish that everyone had the pleasure of consuming this brilliant and honest work. With my wanting to write a novel, this was the drive I needed to get the creative juices flowing. A friend had shared her TEDtalk with me that I believe is a precursor to this narrative.
I felt myself smiling throughout the entire book as it was such an inspiration and reality for us to live creatively. Gilbert speaks raw truth about her own process that allows us all to be human and jump out into the unknown, no matter what the outcome is. I found myself alongside her as she spoke of what fears there are that hold us back from this creative genius as well as not making our creativity the sole contributor to our paycheck – something I’ve struggled with and are fearful of pursuing further. I never want my passions to turn into something cumbersome and ‘a job’. If it does, that is a nice bonus but not what should be the only motivator.
I hope these quotes excite the drive and perseverance in whatever you pursue:
“Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” (Gilbert 18)
“I once wrote a book in order to save myself…If I’d sat down to write Eat Pray Love with the sole aim of helping others, I would’ve produced a book that was insufferably unreadable” (Gilbert 99)
“But that’s what you have to do at the beginning: everybody imitates before they can innovate” (Gilbert 142)
“I held onto those other sources of income for so long because I never wanted to burden my writing with the responsibility of paying for my life” (Gilbert 152)
“(a)t the end of your creative adventure, you have a souvenir – something that you made, something to remind you forever of your brief but transformative encounter with inspiration” (Gilbert 172)
“Following that scavenger hunt of curiosity can lead you to amazing, unexpected places. It may even eventually lead you to your passion” (Gilbert 238)
What are your thoughts on creative living beyond fear?