And as I’m telling her about my foray back into blogging and soaking up all the knowledge she’s passing on to me, she tells me I should definitely read a book she had just sped through — Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.
I had high hopes, because the book is written by Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote the widely popular Eat, Pray, Love — a book I loved. Jordan and I even ate at the pizza place in Naples she describes in Eat, Pray, Love, and I can happily tell you it really is as she describes–the best pizza on earth. I say all this to say, empirical evidence led me to have faith that Gilbert’s writing wouldn’t steer me wrong. :-)
Well, the hopes were well-placed, because Big Magic was a quick read that gave me a good kick in the pants. The book is essentially for the person who wants to create (and that’s likely all of us in one capacity or another) but may be tempted to focus on all of the things that make creating difficult instead of the huge reward it brings. She also takes a fresh perspective on the idea of pursuing your passion — the book doesn’t give the typical do-what-you-love-and-everything-will-be-wonderful speech, which I so appreciated.
Gilbert lists some of our common fears for not making the things we want to:
“You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or–worst of all–ignored.”
“You’re afraid somebody else already did it better.”
“You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life.”
“You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline.”
“You’re afraid you’re too old to start.”
I honestly think I’ve thought all of these things when it comes to writing again and sharing this space, my little creation, with others. But I love how Gilbert walks through her creative process and creative commitment, and ultimately, reminds her readers that “creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience.”
One of my new favorite quotes is one she mentions: “As the saying goes: ‘Argue for your limitations, and you get to keep them.'” How good is that?!
I’m reminded to be committed to this space, and yet, hold on to it with an air of light-heartedness. And in that space of joy, bravery, and authenticity, that’s where the magic happens.
Have you read Big Magic? If you pick it up, would love to hear what you think!