Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

There's a new book. It's called Big Magic. Elizabeth Gilbert wrote it. It's non-fiction. You might find it in the self-help section, but that doesn't quite capture the nature of this fantastic book (this person even calls it the book of the century). 

I read it over the weekend. 

It's a book of short essays centered around the themes of courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust, and divinity. Creativity is the common thread weaving all the pages together. 

Reasons I really liked the book: 
  • In her books and essays, Elizabeth Gilbert often shines a light on other people and their gifts, eccentricities, and brains. I like that her books include many quotes and references to imaginative thinkers past and present. 
  • She's all about increasing the influence of creativity and curiosity in our lives - and diminishing the pervasive power of fear.
  • Gilbert beautifully articulates some of the shared challenges of being human beings. 
  • She shares a cool, metaphysical, spiritual way of thinking about the building blocks and nature of "ideas."
  • I really like how she talks about inspiration. 
  • "Whatever is bad for you is probably also bad for your work" - she breaks down the stereotypes  and dangerous myths that all artists must be tortured souls; she advocates for healthy relationships = healthy art
  • She shares this Joan Didion quotes, "I don't know what I think until I write about it." To which I generally say "Amen." 
  • Reading the book made me want to keep writing and write more and more and more. And all the time. 
  • Gilbert reminds readers that they don't need a permission slip to live a creative life. 
  • She broadly expands what a "creative life" entails - and reminds readers that if they are alive, they are creative. 
  • I really like her chapters on art school and college - and how they aren't the most important things at all. At all. She encourages readers to be really smart about their educational choices - and avoid debt. 
  • She says, "And always remember that people's judgments about you are none of your business." I really like that. 
  • I really enjoyed her personal stories of perseverance in writing...her stories of endless piles of rejection letters. It inspired me to take more risks moving forward. 
  • Be a trickster and not a martyr in matters of creativity...this is a fascinating section at the end of the book...about approaching everything a heck of a lot more lightly. 
If you read it, let me know what you think!

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