Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process – and showing us all just how easy it can be.
By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear.
Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding, Big Magic will take you on a journey of exploration filled with wonder and unexpected joys.
Maybe you are playing in a band at school, going for a pottery class or writing an essay, all of us have tried out creativity. However, creativity is beyond only doing an “artistic” activity. Therefore, what is this elusive situation?
Creativity signifies looking for the inspiration that occurs in the world; it’s basically about living without allowing our inspiration to be put away by fear, and by remaining curious. Therefore, let’s see how one of the greatest talked-about writers of modern years considers the huge magic of creativity, inspiration, and ideas.
Chapter 1 – You’ve only had a shot at life; therefore, don’t allow fear hinder you living creatively!
A lot of creative people across the globe grew up with a regular reminder that having a “good education” and getting a “serious job” was just the only way that brought about happiness. A lot of people have faced failure and tribulations during their early trials in making art. The outcome? Countless creative spirits who aren’t living out their full potential.
In this our skeptical universe, choosing to chase after your creativity is one of the terrifying decisions you can take. However, it doesn’t need to be. Living a life full of creativity isn’t essentially about struggling for fame or committing your body, mind, and soul to your craft. It basically entails living a life led by curiosity rather than fear.
Also, there are no predetermined principles that consider something to be creative or not. A creative pursuit is basically a thing that other people might view as crazy; however, it makes you feel brave, courageous or fills you with butterflies. It might be, writing poetry, painting, cooking or rock climbing, it needs to be that extraordinary thing that stimulates your curiosity.
Are you aware of what your creative pursuit could be; however, still feel uncertain? You need to thank your fears on that. If you’re bothered that you don’t possess the abilities, that it’s really late for you to begin, that nobody will bother about the things you have to talk about, or that you there’s no time or money to invest; then, your brain is doing a good work of hindering you from doing the thing you truly want to do.
How do you overcome this? We’re usually told to free our fears; however, as a matter of fact, this isn’t usually possible. Rather, the choice you can make is basically getting comfy with your fears. They’re basically natural!
Your passions exist together with your fears in a creative life. Your fears are actually welcome to come for the ride and add their contribution; however, they shouldn’t send you on indirect route or grab the wheel. Fears are just passengers seated in the back seat who keep you company and remind you of the things you care for.
Chapter 2 – You need to understand when an idea is knocking at your doorstep.
The world we live in isn’t occupied by only humans, animals and plants. Ideas are developing, breathing and living around us as well! They occur only for a person out there to notice them.
Do you know that feeling when an idea takes charge and won’t free you? If it looks to appear everywhere and continues bothering you in quiet instances, then it’s possible you’ve acquired a great idea. Don’t allow the TV, grocery shopping, or other responsibilities to disturb you from it. It’s your choice to take it and work with it.
If you don’t, the idea will drift away until it gets another person to make it a reality. In this manner, ideas are pretty mystical things. The author had direct experience with this with one of her friends and coauthors.
The author had played with the idea of writing a novel with a location of the Amazon jungle, motivated by her Brazilian husband. Due to a reason or another, the idea didn’t come to the realization. She left the novel and carried on with other projects.
It was during that time that the author and novelist Ann Patchett became friends. Mysteriously, Patchett had started to write a novel set in the Amazon. The plot of the story was nearly the same as the author’s own. Both of them were surprised. At the moment, they strongly believe that the idea basically floated until it saw a person ready to giving it life.
Chapter 3 – Give yourself consent to create, regardless of how scared you are of failure.
Where you can find inspiration is everywhere around you, and you’ve got a lot of gifts. Still, you regularly end up trapped halfway or even finding it hard to get started. What’s the issue?
The reality is that the majority of creatives are their own huge hindrance. Pursuing art is a bold step, and we usually say to ourselves that we’re not strong enough for the challenge. Our inner voices mock us for reasoning that we could create something exceptional or change our ideas into reality.
For you to leave a creative block, you have to comfort your inner voices. You are allowed to create; therefore give yourself permission! And loudly say that: “I’m a writer,” or “I’m a photographer” or “I’m an actor.” By doing this you’ll proclaim to yourself (and the world!) that you’re chasing your passion, and nothing or anyone can hinder. Not even rejection can stop you.
True, rejection is usually a hard pill to swallow; however, you don’t have to take it personally. Those assessing your work are just human. Before the author published any of her work to her name, she sent a piece to Story magazine, which was quickly rejected by the editor-in-chief. She said that her story was good; however, it “fell short.”
Years after, when the author had a few bestsellers under her belt, her agent sent the same piece to the Story magazine again. This time around, the exact same editor-in-chief believed it was excellent, and that it one way or another reminded her of something unique. . . maybe the story she’d rejected the first time!
In order words, your art isn’t present to serve your audience or editors. It’s there for you, as a liberating activity that provides you energy and brings you peace. If the stories that you discover assist you to deal with your own issues, then it doesn’t mean if they’re new or innovative. Consider the hundreds of writers who have trailed the exact storylines as Shakespeare over 500 years.
Being original and being authentic are two different things. The latter is eventually more valuable. Therefore, be passionate and share what you truly want to share.
Chapter 4 – Academic qualifications won’t assist you to create; however, experience in life will.
Creative people usually wrestle with the need to be “taken seriously.” Maybe it’s from partners, family members or friends, artists feel pressure to make their dedication to their passion look legitimate. A lot of creatives even use years receiving academic qualifications for this cause. However, is this truly essential?
As a matter of fact, you don’t require a degree to do the things you love. The only real-life experience will provide you the understanding to follow your craft. The author’s bestseller Eat, Pray, Love is the outcome of her personal experience to seek joy in life after a difficult divorce.
It’s safe to mentions what the author learned can’t be learned in any classroom. Also, they offered her the strength to write her first bestseller. The lesson in this is that creativity is born out there in the actual world. You only need to be opened to it.
Rather than attempting to prove yourself as a “serious” artist, remain playful. Tom Waits sees his music as jewelry for the souls of his listeners. You could create art that’s weird, soothing, funny, angry or intimate. Some people will definitely love it, while other people will hate it. And that’s totally okay!
Chapter 5 – Do not coerce your art to pay your bills.
Every one of us is aware that cliché of artists relishing whimsical, carefree lives filled with bohemian parties and no “proper job” to talk of. Still, when most artists live outside this cliché, they choke their own creativity by making use of their art to pay their rent. But, there is a different way.
Instead of turning into a sell-out, you can enhance your creative career by still having your day job. This might look like a cop-out, or as if you’re not adequately dedicating passionately to your art. However, balancing your day job with your artistic pursuits can, as a matter of fact, encourage more passion: just visualize that you’re having an affair with your art!
Before authors Toni Morrison and J. K. Rowling had full-time careers in the literary world, they indulged in affairs with their writing. By taking a few hours every day from their regular lives, they offered themselves the time and space to write. Hours such as these can become habits that we anticipate and will keep us going even when the day-to-day toil weights us down.
Also, you will offer yourself the safety to be creative by keeping your day job. Success is never certain in art; therefore why put pressure on your art to bring income or reputation? High hopes can suck the whole fun out of creativity. If you wish to create freely and without being scared of disappointing yourself, provide yourself the security to do that with backup choices.
Chapter 6 – Use the mind of a trickster to chase your art and not with the mind of a martyr.
One time, Oscar Wilde explained the life of an artist as “one long, lovely suicide.” He seemed to assume that genuine creative life was one of self-inflicted pain. Numerous artists nowadays still martyr themselves for their craft.
Still, there’s a different approach to boost your creative spirit without making yourself go crazy. Instead of playing the martyr, why not begin playing the trickster? While martyrs follow their principles strongly regardless of the cost, the trickster takes things gently.
Freely moving and ever-changing, tricksters can look for a means out of any difficult situation. Why? Well, visualize that the trickster is just like cartoon rabbit Bugs Bunny, cool all the time, constantly ready with a joke irrespective of the circumstances. Bugs Bunny doesn’t believe he can flee from Elmer Fudd’s bullet; however, he’s certain the bullet will miss.
During a creative process filled with difficulties, it’s easy to understand why tricksters flourish. Brené Brown the author’s learned the value of the trickster’s techniques by including trust in her writing process.
For Brown, telling stories had usually been easy for; however, releasing a novel was frequently a tiring and painful process. At her wit’s end, she chose to try out the trickster. She told two of her coworkers to pay attention as she said the stories that would be written in her book. They jotted down some notes, then Brown went her computer to change the notes into her stories.
By trusting her colleagues to not down the most significant details, Brown released herself from the temptation to worry over a great storyline. She not only started to write faster and experience lesser blocks; however, she only began to enjoy herself more.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert Book Review
It’s never really late to begin creating. By becoming comfortable with your fears and overlooking what other people expect of you, you can provide yourself the liberty to go after the art you’ve usually wanted to create. Live curiously, do not take things really seriously and you’ll see that creating art has never been easier.
Dress for the novel you wish to write on.
When next you see yourself looking frustratedly at an empty page, stand u from your chair and go to your wardrobe. Select a good outfit, take a hot shower, brush your teeth, fix your hair, get dressed and put on some perfume or cologne on. It might look pointless; however, by freshening your body up you can refresh your mind and seduce your creativity back into work. Attempt it and see if for yourself!