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.
Every once and a while you pick up the right book at the right time. I had never heard of Big Magic, but it was chosen as the next to read by our Book Club for Freelancers, so I picked up a copy. From the first page I was drawn in.
Within these pages Gilbert shares her wonderful belief in the magic of creativity - that ideas are always swirling around looking for someone to make them a reality. To stay open, to be observant and to be ready to leap if one decides to land in your lap is a great visual for me. When there are no ideas landing, she just keep working. That's the way she wants them to find her when they do arrive.
As a writer, I know the difficulty of facing self-doubt, worry and the pressure of releasing a new book. Will it be as good as the last? Gilbert looks at how to deal with a lack of success and even negative responses to the work you put out. And it's a very healthy way to handle it. It's never easy but we have to let go of our work once it is out in the world and let the world deal with their feelings about it. She reminds us at the time of writing this book, she had four published and only one was a big success in terms of sales and recognition. Our job as creatives is to dust ourselves off and get back to work.
I am long past due to publish a new book and had begun to establish those daily routines that would support my writing. BUT was still feeling the drag of self-doubt. Reading Big Magic didn't remove my fear, it's a part of me, but it definitely gave me a way to move forward anyway. The author offers creatives the permission to succeed AND the permission to fail, and reminds us the creative life is simply about creating. Nothing more.
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