With the number of books I have waiting to be read on my shelf, it’s rare that I borrow a book from someone else. Once in a while, though, there’s one that a friend will tell me I need to read, one that they say I’ll love, and they’ll insist that I take it home with me.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear was one such case. A friend of mine told me she was planning on reading it a while back. A couple of months ago, when she finished it, she told me how much she adored it and that she was sure I would feel the same. The next time we planned on seeing each other, she brought the book so that I could borrow it from her.
She wasn’t wrong. I’m incredibly glad she brought the book with her that day, and that she insisted I read it. While I was definitely expecting to enjoy the book, I wasn’t expecting to get quite as much from it as I did.
Author Elizabeth Glibert delves into the magic behind creativity as she provides her perspective on everything from inspiration to fear. Big Magic offers the opportunity to embrace both the pleasures and suffering that come along with a creative life, proving that writers–and artists of all types–of every level face them.
I’ll admit right now that Big Magic wasn’t just a book I enjoyed reading, it was a book that, on some level, I needed to read. It motivated me as I read it, and I’m still feeling the effects of that. Plus, it helped me feel better about some of the more negative things I’d been feeling around that time, particularly fears related to my writing and photography.
In terms of what I enjoyed about the book itself, I’d have to say the two biggest things are the writing style and the nuggets of information. Gilbert’s style flows well; it’s easy to read without coming across as simplistic or thrown together.
As for the information… well, I wanted to start highlighting by about page 5. There’s so much in there to take away–and not just for writers. Any type of creative person could learn something, or be motivated, or have some bit of fear lulled to near-silence. As it was someone else’s book, however, I held myself back from pulling out a highlighter.
Which just proves, I suppose, that I should get a copy of Big Magic for myself. I can’t rely on my friend each time I want to re-read it, now, can I?
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.