“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” -14th Dalai Lama
Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is like having a mentor give you a big hug. Gilbert’s narrative is both comforting and informative. Even if you think you’re not a creative person, you’re wrong. You absolutely are. Elizabeth Gilbert is here to help you overcome the fear that can come along with sending creativity out into the world.
Elizabeth Gilbert…sounds familiar doesn’t it? The acclaimed author, most well-known for her book “Eat Pray Love” has written a book that is less self-help and more self-kindness. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is full of great insight, as well as amazing anecdotes about writing which Gilbert has experienced herself. She writes about creativity like it’s a living entity—something that comes and goes—and that you have no control over. She mentions that many writers have also expressed this thought about creativity. I found this profoundly enlightening.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is also a book about kindness. Gilbert expresses this thought many times. Kindness to yourself is essential. Not everyone who wishes to express themselves creatively will be able to do so in the exact way they wish to do it on their very first attempt. Creativity is a craft. You need to hone your craft. This is where kindness comes in. Be gentle with yourself in the learning process. If ever there was one takeaway from this book it is absolutely that thought: creativity comes and goes, but you will be living with yourself whether you are creating your art, your magic, or even when you are in a quiet period.
But what is the Big Magic? Gilbert explains that Big Magic happens when your creativity, your inspiration and you all mesh together in symbiotic harmony. You end up creating in a flurry— words, art, music, brushstrokes, typing—whatever speaks to you.
I found Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear informative, as well as comforting. Elizabeth Gilbert has created not a manual, but a book full of reassurances for those who are just starting out on their creative journey. This is also for those seasoned veterans in the creative world who just need a reminder to be kind to themselves. Creativity is part of us, and being kind is a lesson that is as timeless as creativity itself.