[PDF / Epub] ★ Big Magic Author Elizabeth Gilbert – Peakpopa.info
I underlined something on nearly every page, and my margin notes look like this YES YES YES YES YES YES.I haven t loved everything Gilbert has ever written, but this is one of those books that came into my life at the perfect moment I say this often usually about every book I read and enjoy , but I want everyone I love to read this book. Thank you, Elizabeth Gilbert, for writing this much needed book on creativity It was practical, helpful, comforting and inspiring I know it will be a book I recommend over and over again to writer and artist friends, and anyone else who wants to live a creative life.I ve been struggling for a week over this review, and I m still a bit overwhelmed Sometimes books are so powerful that trying to cobble together a few paragraphs about them seems both trivial and also maddeningly crucial How can I express how much this book meant to me I ll begin by summarizing a few lessons from this book First, if you are lucky enough to be visited by a creative idea, pay attention to it You have to nurture that idea and give it some of your time, otherwise it will leave and go elsewhere Elizabeth says ideas want to take root, and if you aren t the best person for them, they will find someone else She has a few good examples of this, including an amazing story involving another favorite writer of mine, Ann Patchett.Second, make time to be creative wherever and however you can Don t procrastinate because you think there will someday be a perfect time to write your book or create music or make that piece of art There is never a perfect time, and everyone has to balance jobs and family and other obligations Elizabeth gives numerous examples of successful writers who have struggled to find time to write You squeeze your creative work in anywhere you can If that means getting up an hour early or staying up late or cutting your lunch break short, do it Find pockets of time for your creativity.Third, after making time to be creative, don t fret about whether or not you can make it perfect Just get to work on your idea Play with it Expand it Follow your instincts Don t waste precious time being paralyzed by fear about whether something is good enough Elizabeth has a great line that I have since adopted Done is better than perfect Finally, if you don t have a big idea right now, don t worry Just follow your curiosity Give time to anything that interests you, because it may lead somewhere inspiring Elizabeth shared the story of her last novel, The Signature of All Things, which she said finally came to her after she decided she wanted a garden That s all it was she just wanted a few flowers in her yard But her interest grew as her garden grew, and she did research on flowers Later, she had an idea for the novel A few other gems from the book are not to quit your day job and expect your art to pay your bills Elizabeth said she kept her day job for years and did her creative writing in her free time, because she didn t want the pressure of making her writing pay the bills But eventually it did, thanks to Eat Pray Love, which I ll get to in a moment Also, don t be fooled into thinking you need a degree to be creative Sure, spend time reading and studying and practicing and researching, but no one needs a certificate to live creatively If you are a fan of any of Gilbert s previous books, you will probably enjoy some of the stories she shares about what went into writing those One of my favorite anecdotes was about the first time she had a short story published in a magazine Elizabeth thought the story as submitted was fine, but because of a space constraint, she had to chop it down by 30 percent At first she was terrified how can I lose so much of a short story But she did it, and that story ended up landing her an agent The lesson Don t miss an opportunity because you re afraid.Of course, I can t write a review about an Elizabeth Gilbert book without mentioning her huge bestseller Eat Pray Love She has some great stories about that book, including innumerable fans who both loved and hated it Elizabeth said she had no idea the book would be so widely read She wrote it for herself, but she accidentally struck a nerve She even had a line in there about asking her then boyfriend now husband about whether it was OK to write about him He asked if it was a big deal Elizabeth said, oh no, it s not a big deal, no one reads my books HA I mention EPL because it s also an example of why Elizabeth says you have to write or draw or build or design or create FOR YOU No one knows what will happen with a piece of work Find ways to be creative in your life, but try not to worry about the end game.In conclusion, I loved this book I thought it was very inspiring and would highly recommend it 5 stars to Elizabeth Gilbert Favorite Quotes I believe that curiosity is the secret Curiosity is the truth and the way of creative living Curiosity is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end Further, curiosity is accessible to everyone Passion can seem intimidatingly out of reach at times a distant tower of flame, accessible only to geniuses and to those who are specially touched by God But curiosity is a milder, quieter, welcoming, and democratic entity The stakes of curiosity are also far lower than the stakes of passion Passion makes you get divorced and sell all your possessions and shave your head and move to Nepal Curiosity doesn t ask nearly so much of you In fact, curiosity only ever asks one simple questions Is there anything you re interested in 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 youI believe this is one of the oldest and most generous tricks the universe plays on us human beings, both for its own amusement and for ours The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them The hunt to uncover those jewels that s creative living The courage to go on that hunt in the first place that s what separates a mundane existence from a enchanted one First Read November 2015Second Read February 2016 The Instant NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller A Must Read For Anyone Hoping To Live A Creative Life I Dare You Not To Be Inspired To Be Brave, To Be Free, And To Be Curious PopSugarFrom The Worldwide Bestselling Author Of Eat Pray Love And City Of Girls The Path To The Vibrant, Fulfilling Life You Ve Dreamed Of 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 Mindfulness And Passion, Big Magic Cracks Open A World Of Wonder And Joy Is it mere coincidence that BIG is synonymous with FAT and that MAGIC is one of those oblique words difficult to put your finger on, like CHANCE Because I think that s a better title for this book Fat Chance That s the message here you re gonna fail, you big loser Where s the big magic in that I get it, some artists are confused about the outcomes or reasons for pursuing creative ventures It s true, most of us are going to fail and fail again Many of us will eventually give up trying Gilbert s aim here seems to be getting people to think differently about art, to force them to realize that the business sucks and the process isn t always easy, but we should all be happy because we re like children, finger painting our hearts out.Somehow the fact that this advice comes from someone whose net worth is 25 million doesn t make it any easier to swallow.The very fact I read this book is a testament to Gilbert s brilliance It was her 2009 TED Talk that turned me onto the author, a writer I had written off previously solely because of her wild success Not surprisingly, it is Gilbert s wonderful, well presented argument about the elusive genius that opens up Big Magic The message in these chapters is inspirational we all have creativity relax, it s not your fault if your genius eludes you.But the rest of the book gets lost in Gilbert rubbing our faces in her success I know it s not easy, she seems to be saying, creativity won t pay the bills, so just quit thinking about it as a occupation and think of it as finger painting There s truth there, no doubt But Gilbert seems too desirous of proving her point by stretching truths She points out how creative occupations are inherently worthless, the least valuable occupation in society Objectively, perhaps that roofer s role in society can be easily quantifiable, but to ignore the artist s role in shaping change and eliciting awe, to call art arguably useless, seems rather narrow minded What would your muses think, Liz Name one roofer from history whose work was meaningful than Michelangelo s ceiling Also, Gilbert belittles creative higher education by smashing the MFA in writing, declaring it a fruitless activity To prove her point, she highlights that no American winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature had ever earned an MFA Point proven, well done Except that half of the winners of the Nobel predated the existence of the MFA Those who followed were entirely established before the MFA really gained momentum in the writing community Likewise, the Internet is rather useless because Buddha never surfed the web, and Jesus declared disdain for Starbucks by having never consumed a cup of joe.In the end, I think there are definitely glimmers of brilliance in this book and perhaps it is a great book for those who are kidding themselves about the arts Me I m prepared for the toughness I expect rejection I m still here because I love doing it I whine from time to time, but I don t plan on quitting I have no backup Perhaps I should enjoy my occupation , but being told I m a failure isn t exactly going to make me jump for joy Gilbert s insight, while largely accurate, is salt on an open wound for those of us who know it sucks And I guess the message of Big Magic is that it will continue to suck, even when one of my books takes off and is made into a well financed motion picture Fat Chance. The message is we are all inherently creative Elizabeth Gilbert says Be an artist Create for the sake of creating Because creative living is where the Big Magic will always be And we paid money for this enlightening information It s kinda funny to me how such an average book, by an average writer, acknowledges herself that her ideas won t resonate with everyone , is such a huge success and by that I mean money in the bank She doesn t have to practice what she preaches Elizabeth doesn t need a day job lol Her chapter on Career vs Vocation , coming from her only made me laugh It s funny to me that she discourages people from approaching creativity as a career move It s all a twist on words in my opinion The fact is Elizabeth makes a living being creative Both of my daughters and my husband are professional artists Should I have discouraged my daughters from making a career choice from their passion in the arts Or wasn t that them living from creativity in itself Taking a risk Not letting fear dictate their choice I sent them to private academic private schools They still have other choices They both will tell you bullshit About either or If you want it all It s possible They both are financially successful artists Elizabeth s ideas about ideas are clever than fireworks The jargon chosen for this book is a little gimmicky The title itself Big Magic is a little too over the top for my taste, as well And her ideas about ideas floating around the universe looking for a host to land on is just jargon it s not that I don t understand what she speaks about I do even agree but the whole delivery package of this book just feels a little too commercial peppy style for me At times it felt like I was reading a memoir about her process of writing Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth spent much time reflecting diary type writing I became bored Yet, I respect her personal experience So, honestly, I find this an odd funny book If others get value my friends have then I m sincerely happy about that The writing itself is less than average I understand that The Signature of All Things , is exceptionalwith gorgeous writing I ve heard that over and over again So, maybe I should try that book 3rd time just might be the charm.2.5 rating. Favorite Book of the YearWhere to start This book knocked my socks off Which is pretty strange given that I ve always been a die hard cynic with really tight socks I ve always rolled my eyes at spirituality and snidely called it woo woo now I murmur woo woo with affection And self help Please I don t need some pompous asshole telling me how to live right, okay And I wasn t a fan of Eat, Pray, Love What a lot of strikes against this one So.ta da Holy freakin toledo I know I risk chasing my fellow cynic buds away, but I can t contain myself I feel like I ve seen a UFO or something Okay Here goes Over the last three months, my 30 something daughter Jess and I have been writing a weirdo, playful story together, a first ever As soon as we started, coincidences started happening I mean, really bizarre coincidences For example, in our story Jess named a cheetah Lampshade A month later, she was describing Lampshade to her boyfriend on a walk, when suddenly he pointed to a purple plastic tombstone a Halloween decoration in someone s yard It said in huge letters, Pablo Lampshade That pretty much blew our minds, but then other equally strange stuff happened I m talking seven or eight times In fact, it seemed that almost every time something happened in our story, a weird ass connection would occur in real life There were no logical explanations I m officially spooked I go crazy with glee every time another one happens and yes, of course we use all the strange occurrences as material, which is making the story even richer Timing is everything Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I picked up Big Magic, which pre story, I had avoided Spirituality, self help, puke I had even told a fellow reviewer friend that it wasn t a book for me because it was about the big S But lo and behold, I opened Big Magic and I instantly felt that huge spurt of energy you get when something fits just right I couldn t put it down Locked in Sucked in Slurped When suddenly I get to an anecdote about the author, Gilbert, and her friend, Ann Patchett That sealed the deal It helps tremendously that I happen to love Ann Patchett State of Wonder is one of my all time favorites , and damn if Gilbert isn t talking about that exact story I don t want to ruin it by telling you the anecdote here, but it s enough to make a believer out of anyone.For some people, this book will spark their creativity For me, it helped me see that my obsession with writing is okay, and that in fact, writing is what I should be doing Here are the ah ha s that I murmured in my head after I read this book I m not a freak because I d rather write a story than watch the news I m not a freak because I sometimes stay up all night writing I m not a freak when I space out because a story idea has hijacked my mind daydreaming is cool.The whole idea is this If ideas come a callin, find a way to put off mundane life stuff and grab a pen, fast Ha, make sure I can find the damn pen, because memory is short these days Ideas are floating around out there in the universe, and if I m lucky, one will land on me I should grab it before it s too late, before the idea abandons me to find a attentive host Keep inviting my inner trickster to the party it s all about playing and having fun It s okay if my work is frivolous as long as it makes me happy.Gilbert has some practical advice as well as her woo woo stuff, like keep your day job She also says don t waste your money on grad school, and I m a little torn about that one She claims art is useless but that it doesn t matter So what , she says If it makes you happy, you are so so lucky.One of her anecdotes is a little too far out for me it s about an artist who, when his muse left him, dressed up to go on a date with his creativity He claimed it worked Curious, Gilbert tried it herself She dolled herself up she even wore lipstick for god s sake, even though she never wears lipstick ha, or so she says.it s suspect that she had some lipstick laying around the house, lol She claims it worked and the date was a success her muse returned I draw the line at dating my ideas, I really do I don t think you ll catch me trying that First I d have to go buy stuff Friends would be shocked that I returned from RiteAid with a bag full of makeup, but they d really be worried about me if I said I was going on a date with my creativity, which was playing hard to get I can see me now, dabbing my face with powder, blackening my eye edges with mascara, ironing a blouse and sitting ladylike at my computer, hoping to impress the hell out of my creativity But is this one of those, don t knock it till you try it sayings I m pretty sure I can t bring myself to try it If I took a little selfie of me sitting there in my Sunday best, batting my eyelashes at the computer, I d seriously wonder if I was ready for the loony bin I don t think this date story qualifies as a complaint I don t really consider it a bad thing because I have too much fun picturing myself trying it Oh, I can t finish this review, though, without mentioning the god business I don t like the G word it always sends me running, and whenever spirituality is the theme, God is sure to be lurking nearby Luckily, Gilbert mentions the G word maybe three times, and each time it s not offensive she uses it in broad terms and I think she includes the universe each time Yikes, it just occurred to me that I was so enthralled, I could have missed the dreaded reference Wouldn t that be a kick Anyway, the times I remember her using the word, it didn t bug me, which is a miracle Gilbert is something else Her tone is conversational, which invites you into her bright, inspiring world She keeps the curtains open so the sun beams into the room I love her super cool anecdotes she has hand picked the cherries from others who are chasing their creativity She s a bossy bitch, but I didn t mind because she s so fucking wise I can t possibly do justice to all the fantastic things about this book I just love the title, too I m a firm believer in Big Magic.There are a million sentences that made me think I highlighted so much, I could just close my eyes, point my finger, and I d land on a gem They re everywhere I really liked this one Every time you express a complaint about how difficult and tiresome it is to be creative, inspiration takes another step away from you, offended And here s a good one to end on It s okay if your work is fun for you, is what I m saying It s also okay if your work is healing for you, or fascinating for you, or redemptive for you, or if it s maybe just a hobby that keeps you from going crazy It s even okay if your work is totally frivolous That s allowed It s all allowed Amen. I don t know what I think until I write about it Joan DidionI was in need of a Nonfiction read to compel me from the start when I came upon Big Magic Elizabeth Gilbert starts off this very book by writing about a reclusive poet she s passionate about I loved him dearly from a respectful distance , and I became swept up in the accessible, talkative writing tone It s the classic case of I should ve been bored me but instead, I was fascinated The author has an eye for telling stories and introducing people, as I noticed the further I read on.I was officially won over when she exposed her earlier years riddled with fear Unlike a lot of self help books I read in the past, the author in here actually offered up a lot of specific advice and dared to venture into her easily scared childhood to give examples of things that petrified her, so that we could see that she wasn t all talk and no show My fear was a song with only one note only one word, actually and that word was STOP My fear never had anything interesting or subtle to offer than that one emphatic word, repeated at full volume on an endless loop STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP Which means that my fear always made predictably boring decisions, like a choose your own ending book that always had the same ending nothingness.I also realized that my fear was boring because it was identical to everyone else s fear I figured out that everyone s song of fear has exactly that same tedious lyric STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP True, the volume may vary from person to person, but the song itself never changes, because all of us humans were equipped with the same basic fear package when we were being knitted in our mothers wombs Her honest and raw take on such a close topic to my heart made me bond with her.And this fearsome line thrown at fear was utterly exquisite to read There s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still your suggestions will never be followed You re allowed to have a seat, and you re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote But I considered Big Magic a truly successful read for me when I was finally moved to open up a new document and release over 1K words in a sitting before I d even finished reading The author really has a way with words so that I can give this creative endeavor my wholehearted effort Also, her recalling the exhilarating encounter between a human being and divine creative inspiration by showing the story behind Ann Patchett s State of Wonder and her subtle connection to it was something else entirely There s no logical explanation for why this occurs How can two people who have never heard of each other s work both arrive at the same scientific conclusions at the same historical moment Yet it happens often than you might imagine When the nineteenth century Hungarian mathematician J nos Bolyai invented non Euclidean geometry, his father urged him to publish his findings immediately, before someone else landed on the same idea, saying, When the time is ripe for certain things, they appear at different places, in the manner of violets coming to light in early spring The kick in the butt I need because I keep thinking I have all the time in the world to write.As well as this next passage that touches on putting her work out there and her subsequent rejection letters I knew that nobody was ever going to knock on my apartment door and say, We understand that a very talented unpublished young writer lives here, and we would like to help her advance her career No, I would have to announce myself, and so I did announce myself Repeatedly I remember having the distinct sense that I might never wear them down those faceless, nameless guardians of the gate that I was tirelessly besieging They might never give in to me They might never let me in It might never work.It didn t matter Recognizing this reality that the reaction doesn t belong to you is the only sane way to create I will admit, however, that there were a couple of minor hindrances to my overall enjoyment of the book It mostly turned out to be so when the advice wasn t applicable to my current situation or when it was an argument already repeated numerous times before.If anything, the most cherished lesson I took from Big Magic was to pay closer attention to all the noise in my head Sometimes taking a step back and listening intuitively to my thought process was the solution to releasing myself from a burden Simply put, the author reassured me to trust myself in following the trail of curiosity.One of the most exciting moments, however, came when I finally found the mastermind behind one of my favorite sayings shared online that I couldn t trace back It goes as follows Long ago, when I was in my insecure twenties, I met a clever, independent, creative, and powerful woman in her mid seventies, who offered me a superb piece of life wisdom.She said We all spend our twenties and thirties trying so hard to be perfect, because we re so worried about what people will think of us Then we get into our forties and fifties, and we finally start to be free, because we decide that we don t give a damn what anyone thinks of us But you won t be completely free until you reach your sixties and seventies, when you finally realize this liberating truth nobody was ever thinking about you, anyhow I ve repeated this last line one too many times in the past year, so it was worth coming across this read just to make the connectionNote I m an Affiliate If you re interested in buyingBig Magic, just click on the image below to go through my link I ll make a small commissionSupport creators you love Buy a Coffee for nat bookspoils with Ko fi.com bookspoils This The Signature of All Things are my fave Gilbert books As the audiobook reader in addition to writer, she does an incredible job of sounding polished, relaxed, truly encouraging Read or listen to the end for the 2 best of all her great annecdotes. Talk about receiving the right message at the right time Wow Big Magic is one of the most honest discussions about the creative process that I ve ever read Gilbert strikes a playful and conversational tone, but make no mistake, this is all straight talk Her no BS attitude helps do away with the unrealistic expectations and unnecessary melodrama attached to the concept of creative living like how she so expertly pish poshes the tormented artist ideal And in its place, she asks all people who feel called to create writers, painters, musicians, whatever to quietly and joyfully accept their creative inclinations and ideas as gifts from the universe She reminds them to approach their creativity with curiosity and openness, with playfulness and joy even when it s tough, even when there is no Pulitzer, no bestseller list, no call from the Met Own that creativity, she encourages And also stay light with it.Well, this was the message I apparently desperately needed to hear I m a stay at home mom with three young children And when people ask me what I do, that is what I always tell them But that isn t what I want to tell them What I want to tell them what I want to shout from the rooftops, in fact is that I m a writer Sure, barely anyone reads what I write, I ve never been published, and it probably goes without saying that I ve never been paid for a single sentence In other words, no one really gets anything out of my work but me But I love it, straight up So I keep writing, regardless.Yet it feels weird to declare yourself A Something when that something doesn t earn you money or status or likes or hits or retweets Which means even though this side passion feels so authentically me, I hide it so people won t think I m a loser, an imposter, a wannabe, an embarrassment, a failure and the list goes on I guess this reality had been bumming me out than I realized, because when I read the following words, they resonated with me in an unimaginably powerful and loving way like I was receiving a cosmic hug Shake yourself free of all your cumbersome ideas about what you require in order to become creatively legitimate You do not need a permission slip from the principal s office to live a creative life Or if you do worry that you need a permission slip THERE, I just gave it to you Now go make something In other words, Gilbert s message is this just accept that you need to create Accept that this is a part of you, that you are ALREADY creatively legitimate And just do what you naturally feel compelled to do Do it with joy even when it gets difficult and don t worry about how it will be received if it s received at all If you are called to be a maker, then you will just have to make Own who you are, for better or worse.So that s what I m doing from now on I m owning it This is me stating my intent Hello, world My name is Ladybug I am a writer. Preach, Vain, SnoreYou know, I didn t enter into this as a hate read , despite being such a cynic I don t like to waste my time and money on things just to have something to snark at I can already hear the snickering in the audience as I write that You see, with any of these advice books I actually want to learn something useful that s the whole reason why I would pick it up in the first place Despite being utterly let down with her previous book, I genuinely wanted to give this a try, if only to get one tiny nugget of wisdom.To paraphrase the late great Myrtle Snow, Elizabeth Gilbert has a dreadful case of the me, me, me s Now with any sort of autobiographical work it s expected that the author draws on their own experiences but the part that bothers me is the unhealthy levels of God, I am just so amazeballs that this contains I don t know why I expected Gilbert to be any less full of herself this time around, but perhaps I thought she would have matured a bit at least in the narcissism department I was wrong, my friends So wrongMoving past that, this book seems to be written for artists No, strike that ARTISTES With the pretentious pronunciation and all It s mainly written for other writers, so her advice is not universal Even then, the very best thing she can come up with is to not let bad reviews or rejection get to you That s probably the only useful thing she says throughout this book made up of 2 3 page vignettes When she isn t writing as if staring lovingly in the mirror at herself, she constantly contradicts herself with pendulations between reach for the stars and never give up on your dreams andhey, it ll probably never happen for ya, kid.