Not just a series of essays, but a philosophy to live your creative life by.
I love reading books about writing and the creative process. I am always learning new ideas, new methods, new thoughts. And Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is one of my favourites. It is set up as s series of thoughts, lessons, and examples of living a positive creative life, under the headings of Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust and Divinity. Gilbert shares how she has taken her love of writing from a young age and been able to persevere in the face of rejection, failures and extreme successes. Not really self-help, not really creativity how-to, this book is more of a presentation of a philosophy for living a creative life full of positivity. Yes, positivity, not struggle or torment for the artistic journey, but uplifting, calm, in touch and happy to ride the ebbs and flows of the process. Or, what Gilbert calls “stubborn gladness”.
If you are looking for a how-to guide, or even a self-help book, this isn't it. But if you are looking for an alternative to the competitive, commercial, and frankly un-creative artistic world out there, this book will help you redefine what success looks like, and how to create a beautiful creative life. And if you are someone that sees commercial success as the only measure, I think Elizabeth Gilbert is living proof, that her approach to writing is one path towards huge financial and public acclaim.
I wish I had this book when I was a teenager, and a young adult, when I was starting out on a journey of creative living and struggling to find my way through a dark and lonely artistic world. I am so grateful I have it now and will keep it near by to re-read whenever I feel that pull away from what promotes my creativity and seeks only to shut it down.
Hi, I'm Lia! I'm an author and the creator of Cozy Writer's Room. I believe in the power of storytelling and love helping others tell their stories using simple productivity tools like printables!