The Book Club | Big Magic
I mostly picked up "Big Magic' by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of 'Eat, Pray, Love") because YouTube superstar Kalyn Nicholson recommended it. Gee these 'influencers' have me wrapped around their little fingers.
I'm going to be completely honest, when I first heard of it, I thought it was some sort of witchcraft book and didn't want a bar of it. When I realised that I was coo-coo and the book was actually about creativity, I thought I'd give it a crack.
What's it about?
It's basically a memoir-style book on how to unleash your creativity. Gilbert also talk about where creativity comes from and what to do if you feel uninspired.
The blurb states "...she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion..."
What I like about it
Once again, that anecdotal nature of the book really hits me. I hate it when writers (or anyone for that matter) try to tell me how to do something, without first giving me insight into how they did it and why it worked for them.
I like how this book is not only for aspiring writers, but as an 'aspiring writer' of sorts, I did find it very helpful.
One of the best things that I got from this book, is that throughout history we have come to associate writers and other creative types with 'suffering'. The notion is that you need to suffer and go through shit in order to create brilliant works of art. And while this may have been true of a select few individuals, how can you be in the right mindset to create, be inspired and reveal your love of life and beauty whilst being in a constant state of suffering?
Some great quotes
-I believe that inspiration will always try to work with you- but if you are not ready or available, it may indeed choose to leave you and search for a different human collaborator. This happens a lot actually. P. 58
-Let people have their opinions. More than that- let people be in love with their opinions, just as you and I are in love with ours. But never delude yourself into believing that you require someone else's blessing (or even their comprehension) in order to make your own creative work. And always remember that people's judgements are none of your business. Lastly, remember what W.C.Fields had to say on the point; "It ain't what they call you; it's what you answer to." Actually, don't even bother answering. Just keep doing your thing. P. 121
That was my favourite quote from the book actually. It really resonated with me, after I had someone I knew repeatedly diss my blog. Now, they would say they were offering constructive feedback and doing it in love. I would disagree...but that's just my opinion.
This one is certainly worth a read, particularly if you wish to delve deeper into the creative rabbit hole.