What exactly is Big Magic? Most readers are familiar with Elizabeth Gilbert and her wildly successful Eat Pray Love memoir, but the concepts in Big Magic, her guide to “creative living beyond fear” are new.
This self-improvement guide to fostering creativity is an inspiring and motivating read, and for many who are stuck at home during COVID-19, it may be the perfect time to start reading it. Finding a creative outlet and pursuing it may be giving a stick to the Border Collie running wild in our minds, as Gilbert puts it in the book.
Gilbert views ideas as living entities that visit people when inspiration strikes.
Being open to nurture and tend to those ideas is key for them to blossom into something bigger than itself, and for being lucky enough for the genius of inspiration to return to you.
Too often, people let things get in the way of engaging their creative side, and Gilbert suggests that the number one reason is fear.
Fear of what others will think.
Fear of taking on such a project.
Fear of failure.
Gilbert challenges readers to “live a life driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear” and suggests that this is the key to experiencing Big Magic and realizing the benefits of living a creative life.
The book takes on a broad definition of creating from the obvious artistic endeavors such as writing and painting to the unique interests that similarly nurture the spirit, such as figure skating. Gilbert presents creativity as play for adults, and I definitely agree that it’s a fabulous outlet just to do something for the fun of it.
As a self-identified “creative type” I can easily relate, but the range of creativity mentioned makes it so those who don’t identify as strongly as a creative could still benefit from this book.
The book discusses ideas being alive and about synchronicities and multiple discoveries that have lead people to have the same idea at the same time.
Then a crazy thing happened.
While reading the book for the first time last November I had a Big Magic moment of my own.
I had a discussion with a friend about a different book and the next day when I picked up Big Magic the chapter I read was essentially the exact same conversation I’d just had with my friend. Gilbert saying nearly the exact same things I’d said only a few hours earlier.
Granted, she had written these words a few years earlier, but having them reach me with such uncanny timing was enough to have me believing in the magic Gilbert discusses… and give me goosebumps.
I’m confident that Big Magic will give you the push you need to embrace or find your creativity. Right now seems an especially important time to do this, with so much of the world having their routines and sense of normalcy disrupted.
Going back through the ideas Elizabeth Gilbert has laid out has inspired me as well, and given my Border Collie a job in writing this blog.
Whether it’s sewing, painting, or something else entirely I challenge you to find something to channel your creative energy right now, and read or listen to Big Magic for inspiration.