“Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” — Book Review

This book by Elizabeth Gilbert is one of the most inspiring I’ve ever read on Creativity.

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BIG MAGIC on Amazon. https://tinyurl.com/yyokulnz

“You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”
Elizabeth Gilbert

“What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant?” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

One of my favorite books on writing, hands down, is Elizabeth Gilberts book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

It is a jolt of adrenaline in the veins. After reading this book I think you will realize that:

We are lucky that we get to write.

It’s a gift to write.

When I first picked up this book a few years ago I was in an artistic hole. I just had another (?) nervous breakdown, which I now call breakthrough. I was in a total state of creative confusion. 10 years before I had a similar breakdown/breakthrough when I switched from music to visual art.

I had no idea why I was burned out (again!), this time on making visual art.

I created art for over 15 years enthusiastically and I made a pretty steady income from it all those years — but then suddenly I hit an abrupt brick wall.

It was a scary time.

Nothing about making art was interesting to me anymore. It used to be interesting. I used to wake up at all hours of the night with new ideas eager to start working. I looked forward to jumping up off the couch to create stuff.

Suddenly nothing about visual art felt right. It didn’t feel like me anymore. Selling it especially no longer interested me!

Not only did it bore me it made me feel bad and sad.

I had some horrible reactions to selling my art at Art Festivals which led me to the realization I was definitely burned out.

I remember at an Art Fair once a customer had money in her hand and was ready to pay me for a piece of art. For some odd reason I knew I was DONE, FINISHED. I just walked away. I didn’t even want her money! (Weird to turn down money but that’s how sad I felt.)

For some unexplained reason the money didn’t matter anymore. So, I went on a quest to find out what the mystery was about my creativity.

Fast forward to today. I am now retired from the Visual Art business and am dedicating my life to writing (essays, books and an eventual musical).

Reading Elizabeth Gilberts book Big Magic helped me immensely. I felt happy to follow my muse which was always to write. I knew I loved writing. I always had. I wrote in my journal feverishly since age 8. (I have over 70 full journals lined up in my closet!)

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Here’s a pile of my journals from age 8 to 57.

To me, writing was deeper and more fulfilling than making art so I again switched passions in my creative life. I started writing essays daily for many years and then published 5 books.

I am now working on my memoir and publishing daily here on Medium.

Reading ‘Big Magic’ was like a permission slip to follow my new creative path into writing.

Thank You Elizabeth Gilbert for your words and wisdom and your wonderful book Big Magic which I believe will be a classic for years to come.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from this remarkable book. ENJOY!

“Done is better than good.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

“You’re not required to save the world with your creativity. Your art not only doesn’t have to be original, in other words, it also doesn’t have to be important. For example, whenever anyone tells me that they want to write a book in order to help other people I always think ‘Oh, please don’t. Please don’t try to help me.’ I mean it’s very kind of you to help people, but please don’t make it your sole creative motive because we will feel the weight of your heavy intention, and it will put a strain upon our souls.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

“Recognizing that people’s reactions don’t belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you’ve created, terrific. If people ignore what you’ve created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you’ve created, don’t sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest — as politely as you possibly can — that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Here are a few podcasts from her show MAGIC LESSONS if you’d like to check them out and her truly amaaazing TedTalk!

Elizabeeth GIlberts wonderful TEDTALK .

Michelle Monet has published 5 non-fiction books including 4 Poetic Memoirs. She is currently writing a Memoir about her life in show business and a Broadway style Musical.

Contact: michelle@michellemonet.com

Here are a few more of my favorite books:

Written by

Musician. Author. Poet. Seeker. Currently writing showbiz memoir and Broadway style Musical. Contact me at michelle@michellemonet.com

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