Title: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Self Help/Motivation
Story: Creativity and Art is have infinite forms, as well as the motivation behind it. Gilbert has a truly unique way of looking at the process, and what creativity really is. The magic behind it all is more than coincidence. She shares her process, experiences, and outlook on creating fearlessly.
What Worked: Gilbert is the author of the best selling critically acclaimed Eat Pray Love, and while that has been on my “to read” list ever since it came out, I haven’t gotten around to reading it. In a way, I’m thankful that I didn’t get to read it (yet) because I think it would have clouded my perception. Eat Pray Love was such a phenomenon that my expectations for Big Magic may have surpassed the reality of it. I may have not appreciated the little gems I took from this book.
The book was separated into parts: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, and Persistence. Interesting stories were woven throughout. One that stood out that absolutely made me fall in love with her was Pitiful Pearl. I can’t put my finger on exactly why I liked the story so much, but I did nonetheless. It was kind of this ordinary but unusual childhood tale of coming to, and something about it made me read it twice.
I also really enjoyed the tone of the book, the whimsical thoughts behind creativity and the personalities and actualities behind each creative piece (yes, I know, it sounds confusing, but I don’t want to spoil the MAGIC for new readers). It gave me an entirely different outlook on the creative process, and staying in tune with the universe; yes, it is much bigger than us.
What Needed Work: Like most self help books, how many different ways can you motivate people? At some point, it seems like deja vu. But you keep plowing through monotonous cement until you stumble upon another sparkling diamond quote that gets your creative juices pumping. There were certain areas of fluff and typical “Never give up”malarkey, but it made the good parts really stand out.
Overall: If I learned anything from this book, it would be that there is no typical path for art, or those who want to make a living from art (or if you even should!). I also realized we take ourselves way too seriously. Not everything we create needs to be a Picasso or Rembrandt. Sometimes, you just create things because it feels good and does something for you. Sometimes, you create something and hate it and throw it away, that’s ok too. Or you can create something that no one but you will ever see. If it serves a purpose, it was meant to be. While I don’t think this is the Bible of Creative Self Help books, I’m glad I read it, and enjoyed it.
If you wanna read: amazon.com
Follow the author: Elizabeth Gilbert