Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Big Magic: A Book Review

I really liked this book. It said a lot of things that I felt but didn't know how to put into words. I didn't agree with all of it. But most of it was like a comfortable sweater--maybe a little itchy in places where it rubbed me wrong, but for the most part, warm and roomy.

I'd heard good things about it, and because I had felt my own creativity flagging, I decided to give it a try, even though, for the most part, I didn't love Eat, Pray, Love. I had read it, even finished it, I enjoyed bits of it, and disagreed with lots of it. So, I wasn't sure if I'd like Big Magic.

But I did. A lot. And I'm feeling much better about my own creative stale-mate. So, thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert.

Here's my favorite thoughts:

Creativity cannot take a single step forward without fear marching right alongside it. When people try to kill off their fear, they often end up inadvertently murdering their creativity in the process.

In the end, it's all just violets trying to come to light.
The quiet glory of merely making things, and then sharing those things with an open heart and no expectations.
Creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience.
I never wanted to burden my writing with the responsibility of paying for my life. People murder their creativity by demanding that their art pay the bills.
The essential ingredients for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust.
Perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear. Perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat, pretending to be elegant when actually it's just terrified.

Passion can seem intimidatingly out of reach at times--a distant tower of flame, accessible only to geniuses and to those who are specially touched by God. But curiosity is a milder, quieter, more welcoming and more democratic entity.

It's all about the yes.

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