If you are anything like me at all, you may feel like you're constantly at odds with your creative self. That part of you is alive and well and yet somehow it's always getting overshadowed by that darn, logical part of your personality! I picked up Big Magic, a book by Elizabeth Gilbert as a step towards overcoming this conflict. To my surprise, I read the entire book in two days and found it jam-packed with tons of helpful wisdom on how to live the best version of my creative self, without being so finicky all the time!
Gilbert describes creative living as “living a life that is driven more strongly by creativity than it is by fear.”
This is such a great definition. Multiple times throughout the book, Gilbert urges readers to begin where they are. There isn't a formula that makes you creative, nor is there a place you need to live nor a path you have to walk. You simply begin by asking questions.
If your first question, is wether or not you should read this book, then you've come to the right place! I am super excited to give you five reasons why you should order a copy of this book right now. (Before we jump in, I will warn you that this post contains affiliate links. All that means is that if you enjoy this review and decide to order it from one of the links in this post, I will receive a small commission fee. I also should admit that I whole-heartedly recommend this book, wether you order it here or not.)
Everyone has the ability to live creatively.
I agree with that everyone has the ability to live a creative life. It is not reserved for the sacred few who master the perfect sequence of steps that unlock the secret door. Big Magic teaches us to pursue our creativity however we see fit. If it's sneaking away every morning to go ice-skating or simply stealing away 15 minutes to write in a hallway. We all have the ability to live an abundantly inspired life.
You don't have to quit your day job!
I love that Elizabeth Gilbert is so honest and bold in her advice about these this topic. Multiple times throughout the book, the reader is reminded to take each day as a creative journey, no matter what that looks like. Gilbert says, “Even the most successful creative people I know complain that they never seem to get all the hours they need in order to engage in dreamy, pressure-free, creative exploration.” How encouraging it is to hear that this is a constant struggle for creatives, one that we must learn to live with.
Creativity is scary, but it doesn't have to be.
I particularly enjoyed the section of the book titled “Courage.” Gilbert explains the deference between fearlessness and courage and explains that artists need not be fearless, but simply brave. Big Magic teaches us to embrace our fears so that we move past paralysis. A great quote to emphasize this is “...if you can't learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you'll never be able to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting.”
Do it for love.
I think it is so easy for creatives to get lost in the drama of trying to monetize their craft, promote themselves and constantly evolve new ideas. Big Magic reiterates the idea that creative affairs are best when they are pursued simply for the love of it. When we put unrealistic pressure on our work to support us financially, promote our image and gain us respect, we simply aren't being kind to our work. “You might earn a living with your pursuits or you might not, but you can recognize that this is not really the point.”
We need to change our mindset about creating.
Big Magic says that the work of a creative is simply a big, freaky, wonderful game. Rather than agonizing ourselves with the burden of making things, we must learn to trick ourselves into seeing it as a light-hearted attempt to shake up the world. When we take this too seriously we squash our passionate energies.
I wrote several pages of notes on what Big Magic taught me, but I don't want to give away all the good stuff before you get a chance to read it!
The entire book is filled with great content that will at the very least, get your creative juices flowing and you positivity surging. Gilbert's inspiration is a gift in itself and the fact that Big Magic exists, speaks for itself. If you are even a tiny bit interested in expanding the inspiration part of your life, give this book a read! Here's the Amazon link to the book: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.