Saturday, 4 March 2017

Big Magic : Book Talk and mini review

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is one of my favourite books discussing creativity and the writing process. In it Elizabeth Gilbert personifies inspiration and creativity as Big Magic, alive, throbbing and eager to be a co-conspirator in your creative life.

This book spoke to me as only Elizabeth Gilbert can, she puts forth so many experiences both real and fictional. The author explores with you the possibility of moving forward given those circumstances. This is such a minimalistic way of putting it, I am grappling with how to write about Elizabeth Gilbert's writing because it is so philosophical and so soul touching for me.

Before reading Big Magic my creative process was much more burdensome in my eyes. I looked at it as this untouchable sensai who I had to wait on for bread crumbs when I was in the middle of writing.

After Big Magic, I took in the authors notion soundly that my creativity is just as eager to work with me as I am to work with it. It does not tease me, it waits patiently for me to look in it's direction. Sometimes it takes longer for me to find it than we both like and that makes us both frustrated. Big Magic has helped me to consider that content is as eager to be written as I am to write it. My creative content is as eager to be born as I am to birth it.  

The author encourages us to 'Create whatever makes a revolution in your heart.' and how easy it is to forget this. To let fear of not creating something that will be validated by the current world keeps us calling ourselves 'blocked' or 'uninspired' when what we likely really are in afraid. Yeah, I said. Now  I am careful to remember Gilbert's words  '...because in the end, creativity is a gift to the creator not just the audience.' and that 'if you can learn to travel comfortably with your fear, then you'll never be afraid to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting.'

In my life now many things present themselves to help my creativity. I have at least one creative friend upon whom I can rely to have the conversations that urge me on. I have another who is willing to think big with me and beyond the confines of the regular. The only thing that worries me about creativity right now is that I am not giving it the time it deserves to whisper to me due to the mundane and regular affairs of life.

Before reading Big Magic my biggest fear as it has to do with my creativity was that it would leave me if I did not listen to it exactly when it needed me to and that I would never ever be able to tap into that again. I feared that if I missed some magical moment of inspiration I would never ever find it again.

After reading this book. I realised that inspiration is not some kind of well that can run dry. Creativity and inspiration, it is like rain and rain falls even in the desert. Droughts help us to remember the sweet taste of raindrops on taste buds. Water is life and it does not simply dry up and disappear forever, it is a beautiful resource that constantly renews itself every day. 

We can do our part to nurture creativity even when it is not active. Acknowledging it, feeding it even with thoughts and smiles and inside jokes can go a long way to further the water cycle. Sometimes it's this very thing that can make the conversation between one's self and one's sense of creativity clearer and more easily translated from thought to action.

I loved reading Big Magic, it helped to change the way I think about inspiration, creativity and possibility. The author makes a pronounced point for me, reminding us that 'the creative process may seem magical but it is not magic' it is instead, like every thing else including acts of passion, work. Big Magic reminded me that just because passion is work this fact does not make it less magical. 

I recommend it to all of my creative friends as I felt like she spoke exactly my language. Her final note in the book speaks to my soul every day 'I can guarantee you this: A creative life is an amplified life,  and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner, continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you--is a fine art, in and of itself. Because creative living is where Big Magic will always abide' It is one of the few books I would read over and over again because just as I cant stop living it I just can't stop reading that others live it too.


  1. Think I need to grab a hold of this book. My creative mind needs a little steering lol. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Absolutely! It's fantastic. Let me know if you enjoy it too :)


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