This is not a review. It’s more like a love letter, in multiple parts, arranged like a book report. By the end, you’ll know why you should immediately read Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert’s book about creative living.
Why did I choose to spend my time on this book?
I. I have never read anything by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m super glad Eat.Pray.Love. was a success, but it didn’t speak to me so I didn’t read it.
II. I was drawn to Big Magic because of the title (who doesn’t love magic, and if it’s big so much the better!) as well as the description. An excerpt: “With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration.”
III. I always enjoy when an author records his or her own book, and this one was read by Elizabeth Gilbert herself.
IV. Full disclosure: I was looking for something pretty quick to listen to, and this one was only about four hours worth of listening time.
Why do I think you should spend your time on the book?
I. It was totally inspiring! Yes, some parts weren’t for me (e.g. I’ve never worried about “seeming” like a writer). But I found myself wanting to get back to creating even as I listened to her talk about creating.
II. Even if you’re not a writer, she talks about creative living in general, and her examples apply to just about anything you could want to try, from getting into a new sport (even if you thought sports were just for the young), to making something with your hands, to finally finishing that novel.
III. She is no-nonsense, and funny. From stories about her ice skating friend to her lobster-costume-wearing brother, the anecdotes made her points while making me smile.
IV. She is right. We each have some kind of creativity inside of us. Something that speaks to the soul. Something that wants to be recognized just for the sake of being recognized, no matter whether it “amounts to anything.” Also, her list of the fears we all face were spot on.
V. At no time did it feel like she was preaching at me. If anything, it felt like she was on the same journey, and trying to make sense of it while accidentally helping me make sense of it by sharing.
Thus, whether you are planning a creative endeavor, feel stuck on what you’re working on, or haven’t felt creatively charged for a long time, this is a pretty quick read, and if it inspires you as much as it did me you’ll find yourself back on track.
Thanks, Elizabeth Gilbert.
Photo of reading in a coffeeshop by Freely Photos on stocksnap.io