Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. 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, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
Elizabeth Gilbert is an author that resonates with so many of us. Eat Pray Love will forever be one of those books that I will reread every few years until the day I die–and every time I read it, it changes. Committed came to me at exactly the right time, just before I married my second husband. She is one of our great philosophers.
So while I am not a writer, or really any kind of artist, I didn’t hesitate to buy Big Magic when it came out. Surely there would be some nugget of EG wisdom in there for me.
Big Magic is different than Gilbert’s two other major books–rather than being a memoir, it is a self-help book, meant to inspire writers to let go of those things blocking them and just get started. The “magic” can apply to other forms of art as well, but she mostly speaks about her own path, with a lot of name dropping along the way. (Did you know she was besties with ANN PATCHETT?!?!?!?!?!?!)
Sometimes this book is super encouraging–YOU CAN DO IT! PUT YOUR BACK INTO IT! Others, it is very much less so. Don’t give up your day job, it’s going to take forever for you to get published, or you might not ever. The book is very up and down and it all seems to hinge more on chance than the work you put in. Sure, you need to work hard, but unless that Big Magic is there…it doesn’t count for anything.
I dunno. I certainly didn’t agree with all of it. But then, I don’t have to. It’s Elizabeth Gilbert, so of course it’s brilliant and captivating. Not my favorite of her books, but based on the other reviews, it looks like it’s a mixed bag. Some are on my side of the fence, some loved it. I would say if you are a creative person, pick it up and go into it with an open mind. It’s at least worth the read.