Book Review: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

He smiled at the girl with infinite compassion and asked, “Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.
Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert

A light and easy read in a tone so conversational, this book is sure to brighten your day. Gilbert’s narrative easily becomes this voice in your head, like your conscience, that soothes your fears and makes your creative spark itch with excitement. So much so that you just cannot wait to stop what you’re doing and write, draw, paint, cook… create. And not just create, but do so with unabashed confidence, pure enjoyment and zero expectations.

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.

How many of us feel something inside just yearning to be exposed? Something so uniquely ours that this vibrant energy starts to flow through our veins and in that very moment, we’re ready to make things happen.

But before we know it, there’s a knock at the door. Cold, hard reality comes crashing in. Bills, responsibilities, commitments and in an instant, we remember our reality. Or so we think.

This is precisely when the book gets good. It looks at you straight in the eye and shuts down any reason withholding creativity and says an astounding yes. You do have something. Now’s the time to get over your fears and put yourself out there. Because she’s right — we all possess hidden treasures and too often, they get swept aside and neglected.

Here’s what I’m getting at, dear ones: You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life. 

Gilbert makes creating for the pure sake of creating okay. She reminds us, ever-so gently, with personal anecdotes, humour and honesty not to take our lives so seriously. She encourages us to live more invigorating lives by conveniently injecting creativity into our day-to-day, if only for our own pleasure. With an approach so real and pragmatic, she makes us realize that we in fact should be living a creative life along with our jobs and responsibilities.

According to Gilbert, we, as humans, are born to create and that we should never stop making things, whatever they may be. She asks us not to ask anything of our creative spirit—and certainly not to ‘burden’ it with having to pay our bills. She lets us know that living a creative life doesn’t have to be painful or tormenting. It can and it should be fun.

So go ahead and keep creating what inspires you. Do it because you love it. Because it opens up your mind and nourishes your soul. Because it’s fun.

Or, in Gilbert’s words, because “you can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”

The Takeaway:

Subject: Demystifying the creative process and inspiring readers to live a more creative life

Read this if: You’re looking for a light, entertaining and inspirational read to nourish your creative spirit

Themes: Creativity, inspiration, motivation, acceptance, passion

Length: Short – approx. 2.5 hours

Language: 21st century conversational with the occasional f-bomb

Recommendation: Must-read


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