March 22, 2020

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: How to rethink creativity and find your magic

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About the Author

Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1969, and grew up on a small family Christmas tree farm. She attended New York University, where she studied political science by day and worked on her short stories by night. After college, she spent several years traveling around the country, working in bars, diners and ranches, collecting experiences to transform into fiction.

Elizabeth is best known for her 2006 memoir EAT PRAY LOVE, which chronicled her journey alone around the world, looking for solace after a difficult divorce. The book was an international bestseller, translated into over thirty languages, with over 12 million copies sold worldwide. In 2010, EAT PRAY LOVE was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. The book became so popular that Time Magazine named Elizabeth as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

In 2015, she published BIG MAGIC: CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR—a book that encapsulates the joyful spirit of adventure and permission that Elizabeth has always brought to her work and to her life.

Elizabeth divides her time between New York City, rural New Jersey, and everywhere else.

Click here to buy on The Book Depository /?a_aid=stephsbookshelf 

About the Book

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.



Check out Liz speaking at an event here:

BIG IDEA 1 (7:34) – Just create.

Don’t wait for permission, inspiration or the right time, just create. And stay in the habit of making. We often put pressure on our creative pursuits to be a ‘thing’ that we lose the sense of doing things for enjoyment. We should be approaching our creativity with a lightness because it will make it a lot less stressful.

BIG IDEA 2 (8:53) – Everyone is creative. 

We’ve been making things for generations – to cook, eat, live, connect, move or work. But over time these normal things we’ve been doing for ages have become ‘things’. And we take them too seriously. 

We also have fallen into the trap of giving the term ‘creativity’ over to just certain fields or skills. Creativity is much broader than being able to draw or paint as everyone can create. There were a few quotes in the book which are really brilliant, such as “If you’re alive, you are a creative person.” and “If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.” 

By thinking about creativity in a broader way, as a mindset which all have ownership of, we can have bigger lives, happier lives and more interesting lives. Think of creativity as a way to live our lives – not just a skill.

BIG IDEA 3 (11:35) – Ideas are entities.

Elizabeth thinks of ideas as living, conscious beings that float around looking for someone to bring them to life. You need to treat your ideas well and put them to work to keep them alive. Ideas won’t just wait around for you to be ‘ready’.

Elizabeth also said you can say ‘no’ to ideas if it’s the wrong time, place or idea for you. You can even share the idea with a person better suited to it which means you can let ideas go.

Whilst this idea feels a little ‘woo woo’ and magical, it’s Elizabeth’s way of understanding and thinking about creativity – and the way she shares this as a concept, rather than an absolute statement, is given lightly and with humour.

Music By: Side Road – Instrumental Version Song by Jenny Penkin

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