Next in line for a review is this beauty by the little known author Elizabeth Gilbert. (I kid. You should definitely recognize her name from Eat, Pray, Love!) Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear was recommended to me by my friend Lisa Betz, at a recent writer’s retreat I attended last month. Here is the short and long of what I thought!
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.
The Short: 5 out of 5 stars
The Long: It took longer for me to read this book than I’d intended. Let me assure you, it wasn’t because of lack of content or interest. As soon as I opened it, I knew this was something I would want to take my time digesting, as I put each of Ms. Gilbert’s thoughts to memory, tested them in my own life to see how they played out. While we don’t see exactly eye to eye on every point – she offers the thought that the universe provides creativity, while I prefer to believe that it is God given – every point she makes has a valid basis. She begins with the idea that each and every person on earth is created to create (yes!!), and ends with an encouragement to embrace your creativity, no matter how terrifying it might be. Just beautiful.
This book isn’t just for writers but for any and all who have ever felt passionately about any one thing in their life. Even if it was something you did as a child and have often thought back on, she cheers you on to revisit that passion and allow yourself to be happy once again. I appreciate her suggestions that it is never too late to begin a new adventure in life, that there is never a reason why one needs to be an expert on anything to make a difference with their creativity, and that true creativity will burn inside you, regardless how many times you fail. I would recommend this book to any who feel a passionate spirit towards something in their life.
Go ahead. Be creative. Find the magic inside you!!
(P.S. Fair warning: This book has some language in it but is definitely worth the read if you can handle a few bad words!)
Happy reading, friends!