Big Magic – A book review

I love to read and after realizing I was spending way too much time on social media I have been knocking my reading goals out of the park this year!  I’m already at 50 books!!  Which is huge for me because I normally average about 24 books a year!  I’m hoping to hit 75 this year!!

I recently read ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert.  She’s the author who wrote ‘Eat Pray Love.’  I loved that book so I was excited about this one.  Plus it’s a topic I’ve been enjoying lately.  The subtitle is: “Creative Living Beyond Fear.”  And, the cover is pretty!

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There was a lot of great points and words of encouragement and motivation throughout but I don’t agree with one of her main concepts.  She says that ideas are floating around in the space around us and we need to be open to them and allow them to come to us.  If an idea comes to us and we do not use it, it will leave us and go to someone else.  Not as personification, but the idea is a thing with choices and abilities to move.  This might be a little too out there for me…

I do believe there is something to making sure you’re in a good place mentally, emotionally, psychologically, etc. when you are trying to be creative.  But creativity comes in many circumstances.

At the beginning of the book she talks about embracing your fear, getting comfortable with it.  I thought this concept was interesting.  Your fears may not go away, or you may not conquer them, and you don’t necessarily have to.  You just need to get comfortable with them and rationalize them a bit.  Take away their power so they don’t stop you from moving.  “Carry your fear around with you on your great and ambitious road trip.” (p.26)

I like that idea.  It’s hard to conquer a fear sometimes.  This concept let’s me get on with it and takes the focus off of the fear, giving it less power.

“Nobody was ever thinking about you, anyhow.”  Gilbert talks about our natural fear of what other people are thinking about us.  I love this saying because my Grandma used to say this to me ALL THE TIME!  In her words, “nobody is going to be looking at you, anyway.”  This was said to comfort me, of course!

It’s true though.  Most of the time everyone is so caught up in their own thoughts, worries, lives, that they aren’t really paying attention to all those ridiculous things our brains are obsessing about!

One more concept I found interesting: the martyr vs trickster mentality.  The martyr thinks, “life is pain” while the trickster thinks, “life is interesting.”  I much prefer the trickster mentality but it requires a little change in perspective when life gets tough.  She encourages you to bring out the trickster mentality in order to thrive creatively.



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