Book Recommendation: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Hello dears,

It took me waaaayyy too long to read books this year, let alone write recommendations. This is *only* my second 😦 and last one for this year. It’s ok though.. I’ll get back to more readings next year.

If you ask me, though, Big Magic is the perfect book to enter a new decade! Here’s why: This book gives you your starter pack to more creative living, your permission slip to be creative (if you feel like you need one), access to instant motivation with examples and insights as to how to be braver regarding your work with creativity, and real-life stories that will leave you in awe.

Big Magic is all about creative living and working with creativity. And before you think it, no, it’s not meant merely for writers, painters and “artists” as we know them. We’re all creatives. We’re all creators. If anything, Elizabeth Gilbert, Liz, explains in the book that, her definition of Creative Living is “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.” And I can’t tell you how much I love that definition! Creative Living does not have much to do with our ability to create, but rather, our willingness to pursue our curiosity wherever it might lead us; you know, do things that set our Soul on fire.

The book is divided in 6 parts: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust and divinity. Each part reads like a charm and connects wonderfully to make the whole. Liz is very personal in her approach, and quite comical, too. I read the book twice (because, well, it took me too long to finish it the first time and I felt like I forgot quite some information to write a Book Recommendation). I am in love with how personal Liz can get with her audience. You feel like you’re having a conversation with her; like it’s two friends having a chat – only that one friend is more talkative than the other.

Telling personal tales and using common language to exemplify Big Magic and make her points clear, Liz captivated me to the extent that I took a break from the book to watch Eat Pray Love (because I didn’t really know who she was before reading Big Magic). I just wanted to know more about her, by her mere writing style!

Liz Gilbert covers quite a lot around creativity and creative living. I could write extensively about this book but I wouldn’t want to give too much away like the last reviews. To keep it short, I’ll give you some bullet points of what you can expect. Big Magic covers and discusses (among other things):

  • Liz’s take on inspiration and how it works with us;
  • The boredom of fear (and how to deal with it);
  • Creative entitlement;
  • Motives to create;
  • Awesome mystical phenomena – Big Magic at work!;
  • The notion of authenticity vs originality;
  • The meaningfulness and meaninglessness of art;
  • Criticism;
  • The notion of success;
  • Rewards of artistic expressions;
  • Career vs Vocation;
  • “The Tormented Artist”;
  • Passion vs Curiosity;
  • Our egos and their needs;
  • And so so so much more!!

This book is a practical guide, a self-help book, and a charming read – all in one! I’ve been saying this for some time now – we’re all artist – and Elizabeth Gilbert puts this beautifully in creative terms. Personally, I loved how intimate the book is. I took many gems from it, and hopefully, you will, too!

With love,
Jun ❤

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