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Have you ever read a book that changed your life? I don’t mean when you read a book about travelling the world, and then the next day you quit your job, sell your house, and go backpacking for a year. I mean have you ever read a book that hit some sort of nerve in you, or helped you have that lightbulb moment that changed your life? A book that inspired you to chase your dreams, or gave you the confidence to take that step forward when something was holding you back? That’s what Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert did for me.
I’ll admit that I was scared to be creative. I was scared to do something that I was passionate about and put it out there because of all of the what if’s. What if people didn’t like what I did? What if no one understood my purpose? What if, after trying something that I love, I failed? After reading this book, all of those what if’s went away. Elizabeth Gilberts words gave me the confidence to move past all of my fears and just do it. And this blog is the result of that!
What the book is about : Creativity as a Subject
Big Magic is entirely about creativity. I’ll admit, I was skeptical about the subject at first. How much can you write about creativity as a subject? How can you fill an entire book just talking about being creative? Elizabeth Gilbert found a way to break creativity down into comprehensive parts. Believe it or not, creativity is a very complex subject which Gilbert explores in depth.
Gilbert splits her book into 6 parts: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust, and divinity. At first I thought these categories were pretty silly. I couldn’t figure out what they had to do with creativity. But after reading Big Magic, it makes complete sense. I’m not giving anything away by saying what about I’m about say but each of these six words applies to being creative. You need to have the courage to do it. You get enchanted by the effect that creativity has, yet you have to be careful that your enchantment with creativity doesn’t get jaded. You have to give your creativity permission to flourish and grow. And you need to be persistent with not only being creative, but with yourself; pushing yourself even when you don’t want to do it. You need to trust in your creativity. Trust that you can do it. Trust in yourself. Creativity is divine. It is magic (hence the title). That’s Elizabeth Gilberts’ whole point of this book. Creativity is magic. Ideas and inspiration can come out of thin air. It comes to you when you need it, and goes away when it’s unused.
Emphasis on Personal Creativity
The emphasis on being creative first for you is very evident throughout the whole book. She consistently emphasizes that you need to be creatively motivated, not financially motivated. Your end goal, if you want to create anything you can be personally proud of, is something that gives you personal joy. Something you do because it pleases you, and not for the money that it may generate. Gilbert says that being creatively successful doesn’t necessarily mean that you make money from it. It’s personal success whether it be selling a piece of art, or having a stranger engage and like whatever you created.
I have hit just the tip of the iceberg with all of the amazing things Gilbert has to say on the subject of creativity. So I urge you to go to the bookstore, go to Amazon, go to the library and pick up Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I want you to read this book if you thinking about doing something but are afraid to. I want you to read this book if you are already doing something you love because it will keep the fire alive inside of you to keep going. I want you to read this book if you are lost and are trying to find your purpose. Elizabeth Gilbert is not a spiritual leader. She’s not a guru. She’s just a creative person who wants to spread the word that anyone can do anything and that you should do what you are passionate about for you, not for anyone else!