If you dip your toes into the creative world (and I hope you do!), you probably have seen that Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) released a new book called Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Creativity is something that’s been reawakened in me in the last year through the blog so I was interested to find out what my friend Liz had to say about it. -T
Overall Pop Rating (1 to 5 stars, more stars the better we thought it popped!)
B: 4.5. Big Magic was a book I honestly didn’t want to finish as I felt that once I finished it the magic would end! But it didn’t. The themes and messages that Elizabeth Gilbert shares about creativity really resonated with me, and I find myself referencing her messages on an almost daily basis.
T: 4. Elizabeth Gilbert has an interesting perspective on creativity and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The book was easy to read and I loved that she writes it in an approachable way.
What is one word that describes how you felt after reading Big Magic?
B: Awakened. Specifically, the book helped to awaken my creativity in a way that previously seemed closed off to me.
T: Energized. I liked the approach that Liz (yup, we’re on a nickname basis!) took that every single person is creative and you should create regardless of any expectations of what will happen once you create something. It was very freeing.
What is one thing that you will take away from Big Magic?
B: In the beginning of the book Elizabeth Gilbert writes, “I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.” Lately I’ve asked myself if I am being driven by curiosity or fear when I am unsure of how I am moving forward with something. The 0 Weeks Pregnant post was a great example of this for me. The post you can read today is the third version I wrote. The first two versions were drastically different and my husband kept advising me to tell my story, that I could do it better. So I sat down and I asked myself what would I write if I wasn’t thinking about what anyone else would say about it, or how it would make anyone else feel. What if I just told my truth? So I did, and it is the best version. Fear isn’t helpful. It causes me anxiety and uncertainty where there is no reason to be anxious or unsure. Centering myself around creativity works for me!
T: You should make things for your own pleasure and enjoyment. It doesn’t matter if it looks like a 3 year old made it if it brings you happiness to do it. I’m sometimes too competitive with myself so if I’m not going to be great at something, I don’t want to do it. I like the thought that you should do it just because you want to do it…not because you’ll discover some amazing hidden talent. Maybe you will, but maybe you won’t. And that’s all ok.
What is something that you disagreed with that was discussed in Big Magic?
B: I struggle with finding time to put some of the ideas she suggests into practice. I’ve been finding it challenging to have a career outside the home with a 90 minute commute (45 each way), and make time for a creative outlet that doesn’t feel forced. I’ve been trying to dedicate small amounts of time to specific tasks, like our blog or research or reading or writing, which has been helping; but I am slightly discouraged as even in those moments I feel as though I am leaving my creativity burst unresolved.
T: I had a hard time with the thought that you should not make a career out of a passion you have. So, if you are a writer, you should not aim to make a living out of that. I understand what she’s saying about not putting pressure on something you love so much, but I wonder if that doesn’t apply to everyone. I’d like to believe you can make a living from something you’re so passionate about and not ruin that passion.
Anyone else read Big Magic? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below.