I read a lot of non-fiction. Much more than I read fiction. I haven’t posted about a book I’ve read in awhile, but Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is compelling me to tell you about it. It’s hot off the press and just out today! This is Elizabeth Gilbert’s (you know her from Eat, Pray, Love) latest creation — and, it’s about creation and doing it without fear! If you are a creative type, which I believe everyone is, you need to read this book. It will unleash things inside you and inspire you like never before.
If you’ve ever had a creative idea in your life (I’m sure you have!) then you’ll understand how Gilbert explains that ideas are magic. This may scare off some readers, but press on my friends because she’s speaking a truth we already understand. Ideas come to us and speak to us. They nudge us, they wake us up at night, they very much want us to take them and create something.
At one point in the book she talks about a story idea she had for a novel set in the Amazon jungle. It was a full and detailed story, but she didn’t have time to write it. Later she learns that another author had the exact same idea — with only minor detail changes. She believes the idea came to her first, but when she didn’t have time for it the idea had to go to a willing person. It just so happened that it went to a friend of hers and was transferred with a kiss!
Don’t think that Big Magic is all about magical ideas that mysteriously work their way onto paper and become best selling novels that are transferred to the big screen. Gilbert tells the truth about how hard she works, even after having a huge success like Eat, Pray, Love. She says most days she “sits at her desk and works like a farmer.”
One of the best parts of the book for me is the section about 100 pages in called “orginality vs authenticity.” She talks about the fear of not being original enough. But she goes on to explain that “most things have probably been done — but they have not yet been done by YOU.” As a blogger I struggle with trying to be original, but she’s right. Most things have already been done, stories already told, recipes already written, but they have not all been written by me which is why I continue to write on this blog. I need people like Elizabeth Gilbert to remind me that I’m allowed to have my voice and my story and tell it the way I want.
If you need a pick me up, a creative kick in the butt, a reason to be able to be creative in the way you love, then you should read Big Magic. It will inspire and encourage you — no matter where you are in your creative journey.
Disclosure: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. Affiliate links are used in this post and if you make a purchase from one of the links, I make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Opinions are my own.