Big Magic – Creative living beyond fear
written by Elizabeth Gilbert, published by Cargo
genre nonfiction / self-help, 256 pages
While traveling trough Australia I picked up Elizabeth Gilbert’s book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and fell in love with her writing immediately. I love her personal tone of voice, her humour and the way she intertwines her own life into her stories. Reading her books feels like talking to a friend, a friend who’s giving me advice, telling me about her own life and experiences. ‘Big Magic’ is exactly that; Elizabeth being her honest and lovely self while explaining the mystery of creativity.
The story in short
Elizabeth divides the creative process into sections, the six chapters of the book. She explains where creativity comes from, where inspiration and motivation can be found, how to keep courage, to let go of fear and anxiety and to enjoy the process.
Everybody can be creative and the creative process is both lovely and hard for everyone, whether you’re successful or unsuccessful, a professional or an amateur. The only question you have to ask yourself is: am I willing to deal with the shit that comes with it? A creative process, just like every job, also contains less pleasant parts. You just have to find out what you love doing so much, that you’re willing to deal with these parts as well.
When you’re in a lack of creativity or simply interested in how the creative process works, this is a book you should read! The book explains how an artistic life probably won’t bring you any external success, but for sure will bring you a fun and interesting life and internal satisfaction. Nothing should keep you from following your passions, living a curious and interesting life.
Why you should read this book
This book gave me some insights, maybe even approval, that I’d been looking for for years. After graduating from Art School, I felt like I had to live up to my title and earn my money with my creativity. Not being able to do so made me feel like a failure. Thankfully I followed my heart and decided that I love being creative but not in a professional way. I prefer to express my creativity during my leisure time, as you can see. Reading this book reassured me of how I want to use my creativity; without any expectations but with a lot of fun.