Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. (Disclosure: When she first came out with “Eat, Pray, Love” I was both jealous and judgmental: to me it was a one-idea book without much depth). Years later and three weeks ago, I found myself standing in front of her latest book. I grabbed it off the table. I went home and devoured it: I have been struggling with beginning to look for publishers for my “Everyday Mermaid” book. I kept getting side tracked, making detours. One day I realized: I was scared.
I found answerswhich I knew, but Gilbert defined so clearly: You live the creative life because it’s fun. It satisfies your curiosity, your deep desires, and takes you to places you could never imagine. It’s paradoxical: It demands you work hard and persistently while it’s also a trickster. It demands lightheartedness. It makes you happy.
She blows up the old tortured artist myth. It’s the ego which creates a lot of blocks and fears. So she says don’t let your ego mess you up with whether the book is a “success” or not. Don’t let this fear get in the way of either your work or putting it out. Don’t let perfectionism freeze and stifle you. Put your book out with a “ferocious trust”.
Gilbert covers most of the demons and angels of the creative life, but always with a sense of fun and humility. Marvelous anecdotes, good research into theories and studies. I personally could NOT have read another dry, self-help book. It’s a hoot. Now don’t stumble on some of the “magic” ideas in the book. If it’s a problem for you, read these parts likea novel because they convey the spirit of a beautiful approach which can give you more tools for living life creatively. Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert for bringing me back. I have been eating a lot of pie lately.