Big Magic: A book review.
I was drawn to the colourful cover when I was perusing the shelves of Dymocks recently on a rare trip into the city. I was actually interested in working in the bookstore as I love books, I love to read and I love to write. So therefore I would like to work with books in some way shape or form.
‘Big magic’ virtually jumped right off the shelf at me. I have had books do this to me before. It is like they are calling out to me, shouting out to me “take me home, you need to read me!” Following my instinctive pull to buy this book, went against my grain as lately I have not wanted to buy anything. I am in cull mode, getting rid of mode, and mostly use libraries or download books from Amazon. But not this time. The force was strong, the pull was intense and before I knew it; or could question the need for this material item, I was paying for it at the front counter.
I loved the first book of Gilbert’s ‘Eat Pray Love’, even though it had mixed reviews. I thought her idea was clever and well structured and I remember feeling a lot of inspiration after reading it. Even though I wasn’t writing as much as I am now, I felt momentarily motivated to write my version of her 3 sectioned travel tale. Travel to three countries over 4 months each and write about it, perfect!! I can do that! Well structured ideas and achievable targets is what draws me in. I was hooked, and I loved her enviable stories of adventure, love and travel. Sadly I never actualised that idea of writing the travel book, yet… Although I know that it could still happen!
Big Magic is the second book I have read from Gilbert, even though she has actually written 5 books, her ‘Eat Pray Love’ book was the most popular so far. I dare say Big Magic may also be up there for inspirational brilliance.
She writes about the importance of pursuing your creative dreams. ‘Creative living beyond fear’ is the catchphrase on the front cover, and so true it is. Many creative people feel they are not good enough to pursue their creative endeavours, for fear they are crap, boring, self-indulgent, etc… Her main message is; if you feel creatively inspired to make something, then go ahead and make it! Her voice of empowerment is powerful and true. She essentially gives you permission to be creative, even though she adamantly states you do not need permission to be creative. We just feel like we do.
“I am going to spend as much time as I can creating delightful things out of my existence, because that’s what brings me awake and that’s what brings me alive.”
This powerful sentence sprang off the page and has remained in my mindset since I read it. This is so true! And this is what I want to do too. I want to spend my time being as creatively inspired as possible. I want to travel, read, write and photograph amazing places all around the world; and enjoy my life as much as I can. Creating, making, writing, designing, and expressing are all a big part of this magic. I fell in love with Gilbert once I read this sentence. YES YES YES!!
I felt compulsively compelled to read Big Magic from when I cracked open the first page. I wanted to highlight juicy parts, and dog ear corners, savouring her words, and creative inspiration.
I realise as an adult how rare it is to be creative. Not everyone is inspired, motivated or interested in creating beautiful works of art, this is why it is so important for us to follow through and do what we are inspired to do.
My creative abilities came from my beautiful Mum. She was constantly creating intricate and detailed and amazing works of art for as long as I can remember. I would fall asleep at night as a child to the tutt tutt tuttering of a sewing machine; and in the morning new creations would be presented. Mum would make me skirts, and dresses and shorts, and scrunchies and nighties. She would be always making something, for someone!
Her creative endeavours moved into hats, and bow ties, and then into silk flowers, and many things in between. She sat at the dining table creating, designing, making, fiddling; where she happily created amazing creations her entire life. If she wasn’t making something she would feel frustrated and edgy. Inspiration would come at random times, on an outing, a conversation with a stranger, a sudden need, all sorts of interesting ways. I love that I have adopted her creative flair, just in very different ways. I love to write, photograph and use colour to draw and paint. I have no interest in materials and sewing! Creativity is unique to the individual, embrace it!
Gilbert’s writing whispered to me like a magic spell. Her words were inspiring, motivating and supportive. Being creative is a unique ability and following through with our inspirational ideas can be challenging at times, but the result is well worth the sweat. Ideas come at us like a furious bombardment, insistent, with force, demanding attention. Listen, feel, go with the flow, and follow through on your inspirational creative magic.
From one creative to another I want to encourage you to continue your creative pursuits, make time for your ideas and just do it! Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Thanks Elizabeth for another amazing read, I thoroughly enjoyed your book and know it has already served to inspire many creatives around the globe.
Love Anita xx