Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise—you can make anything. So please calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.” 
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

So I should start this post by stating a fact: I love Elizabeth Gilbert's writing. If you don't love Elizabeth Gilbert's writing, you'll dislike this book. But also, if you hate Elizabeth Gilbert's writing, maybe you just hate wonderful writing? Is my guess.

I've read four books by Gilbert, all that I'd rate above-average; this one is no exception. And I think I read it at the exact perfect time in my life, because I've been pretty all-consumed over the last 7 months or so with this little smiley being that we created last year. Which is wonderful. But lack of sleep and time does not, I've found, lend itself well to feeling creatively fulfilled. And I, for one, am someone who sort of needs to be creatively fulfilled, even if it's in the form of just writing my silly blog a few times per week.

So, one of my goals for the coming months is to find a space for this again. HOWEVER, if you're like "oh my God, gag me. This sounds way to drippy and creative-y for my taste" then DON'T STOP READING. Because it's not. Gilbert has a beautiful way of eloquently putting into words what most people cannot (including me, apparently, judging by this review so far) and then giving it to you straight and being like "Quit complaining and blaming everything else for why you're not the creative person you know yourself to be. And just go be that person already, whiner." (I'm paraphrasing). Or, to put it into someone else's words entirely:

“Big Magic is a celebration of a creative life…Gilbert’s love of creativity is infectious, and there’s a lot of great advice in this sunny book…Gilbert doesn’t just call for aspiring artists to speak their truth, however daffy that may appear to others; she is showing them how.” —Washington Post

And no, I don't think of myself as an aspiring artist, though Gilbert would likely word-slap me for saying so - I'm just...someone who likes to create, feels better when I'm creating something, small or large, and loves to feel inspired about it again! I actually think everyone in the family will like this book. With the watercolor classes, woodblock classes, and various writing ventures, I think it may resonate with all of you!

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