My Favorite Things: "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear" by Elizabeth Gilbert
Updated: Feb 18, 2019
"These are a few of my favorite things..."
There’re a few books that I believe every artist, writer and creative person needs to read in order to stay inspired, push themselves to think outside the box and to help them realize the strength that they have and the amazing things that they can do. Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, is one of those books.
I have listened to this audiobook twice so far and I will probably listen to it again. I feel like I can’t get enough of the wisdom provided in this book. I find it deeply inspiring because it reminds me of the amazing magical and spiritual things that happen in my own life and helps me stayed focused on the positive. Ms. Gilbert inspires me to keep forging ahead even though there’s no immediate payoff, no instant gratification in being an artist. Everything you do is to invest in your future in hope that you get a return on your investment, but there’s never any guarantee.
In her book, Elizabeth Gilbert speaks of inspiration as if it were external entity that whispers into the ears of artists telling them what it wants to become as if it were collaborating with them on a project. She talks about how the ancient Greeks believe that everyone had a genius, an inspirational conduit, and deliverer of creative messages from the gods to the humans, not that everyone was a genius. She talks about how today we put too much pressure on creative people, leading them to believe that they have to be a genius, stifling their creativity.
Another thing Ms. Gilbert talks about is one’s fears and her personal journey into how she learned that she had a choice; she could let fear take the wheel and control everything or she could learn to not listen to it. She talks about fear and creativity as though they were conjoined twins; that you can’t have one without the other. That in trying to destroy your fear you also find that you also destroy your creativity.
I love the speech that she gives to fear before embarking on a new project or journey. My favorite part is when she tells fear that it is allowed to come along on her adventure, but it will not have say so in anything, that she and creativity will make all of the decisions.
She reminds me that I’m doing this because I love it, not because I want money, although money is a plus. She also says not to ask your craft to provide an income. That creating with the sole purpose of paying the bills will eventually kill your creativity.
I believe that everyone who feels the drive to create, such as myself, should read her book. It’s a wealth of wisdom, knowledge and inspiration that we all could use.