Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic is the number one book for all creatives and creativity inclined beings.
Anyone who believes they possess creativity in the form of a droplet or a hurricane needs to pick up this book.
Her writing has a butter -like quality that literally cuts through all your skin and tissue and speaks directly to your soul.
Although the book is 276 pages long, I made time to read it little by little, day and night, and finished it in a week.
In a nutshell this book will help you –
-If you are confused about what to do with your creative talents and dreams
-If you feel frustrated and burdened by the creative process
-If you find it difficult to find joy in creating
-If you can’t seem to find the motivation to follow your creative aspirations
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – Book Review
In this review, I will share some of my favourite quotes, favourite concepts and lessons we can learn from this incredible book, without revealing too much, so that you still have the opportunity to enjoy the book, if you choose to read it.
You can get it from Amazon or read it on your Kindle, either way here’s the link.
Choosing to live a life following your creative joys and dreams is equivalent to uncovering a jewel that resides deep inside a forest.
The journey will be difficult but the pursuit of the jewel and acquiring it eventually will bring incomparable joy.
There is no doubt that a creative life is a happier life, a more fascinating life, and a more amplified life.
Elizabeth Gilbert highlights that it takes great bravery to do this. If you choose to live a creative life, you are braver than most.
But the sad truth is you don’t get any recognition for being brave enough to spend your life in creative endeavours.
“Bravery means doing something scary. Fearlessness means not even understanding what the word scary means.”
It isn’t easy to be brave. And just because you choose to be brave, doesn’t mean the fear you faced before will run for the hills.
“Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome and fear hates uncertain outcomes”
Creativity and fear must always ride together for any creative outcome to be achieved, but fear must never get the chance to take the wheel.
Fear of failure is so powerful sometimes that it can completely cripple you from even beginning to do something you love to do.
The only way to deal with this is to measure your worth by how dedicated you are to your path and not by your successes and failures.
“Something unknown is doing we don’t know what.”
Gilbert stresses how crucial it is to view creativity as an external source that chooses us, this is another ironclad way to separate us from our successes and failures and an excellent way to avoid becoming a heady egotistical artist.
“Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”
The best way you can spend your time is by creating things you love and that brings you joy. Your creations don’t need to have a higher purpose add value, it should merely bring you joy, heal you, fascinate you
“Recognizing their reaction doesn’t belong to you is the only sane way to create.”
Beware of pigeonholing. Other people often want to classify the arts as good and bad, great, and abysmal. They will try to stick you in a box, but it is important to remember that their opinion is limited by their understanding of their world.
Surrendering to the creative process is hard enough work, you do not have to take on the burden of other people’s opinions too.
“Pure creativity is not a necessity. Pure creativity is something better than a necessity; it’s a gift. It’s the frosting.”
The author asks us to give creativity importance but not let it overpower us. Creativity is joy, but it is also highly frustrating. You must be willing to deal with a certain kind of downfall because any career or path you choose comes with hurdles. What kind of hurdles and turmoils are you willing to put yourself through – that’s a question only you can answer.
“ Don’t think of it all as burdensome, think of it all as sexy.”
Acknowledging failures and growing from it is a huge part of creativity, it is usually the catalyst behind some of the most important works of art.
“A creative mind needs a job to do, or it will find a job to do, and you might not like the job it invents.”
Create with fervour, create with intention, create with attention. Creating with all of yourself makes you forget about all the other personal and world problems that usually weigh down your soul.
It sets you free like nothing else you have experienced before.
“Done is better than good.”
It’s not always possible to put your best work out there. There may be deadlines or other issues that may cause you to rush the work or half-ass it and that’s okay. Take your work seriously but don’t let it seriously affect you.
Consistency and persistence are all that matters, There is no such thing as an overnight success. You may have discovered them overnight, but they have been working in the dark for years.
“Don’t rush through experience and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform you.”
Artists deliberately cling on to their suffering and have confused it with creativity. They use it as an excuse for terrible behaviour, often donning the role of the tortured artist.
Please, don’t be that guy / girl.
Creativity does not hate or hurt, it loves and gives, Otherwise why would it even come to you. You are the vehicle for its birth, why would it harm you?
“Following the scavenger hunt of curiosity can lead you to amazing, unexpected places.”
Ego is a wonderful servant but a terrible master. It is forever famished, it’s an attention seeker by nature. Understanding the hurt, anger, and shame you feel from failure are all your ego, wanting you to go back to your comfort zone and away from an interesting creative life.
In times like this, it is important to forgive yourself and move on
“What you absolutely must not do is turn around and walk out. Otherwise, you will miss the party and we did not come this great distance, and make all this great effort, only to miss the party at the last moment.”
In conclusion, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is an absolutely life-changing masterpiece for the creatively inclined and the creatively challenged. Her words have the power to really resonate with the artist within you and that is a quality that very few possess. Gilbert urges us to not shy away from creative living but instead embrace it, flaws, and all.
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