I’ve finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Literally – I just finished reading it a few minutes ago.
It’s the first day of the school holidays, the child still asleep, the husband gone to work and so I had some precious time to finally, finally address the pile of ‘to read’ books sitting next to my bed. I added the luxury of tea and toast brought up to bed, plus an extra pillow behind my head, and settled in to read the last few chapters.
I have been reading the book for a while – I purchased it on our recent trip to the Canada and US West Coast, but the pace of the vacation was such that I didn’t get as much time to read as I had thought. Then when we came back life took over as it does, and so reading time was pushed to the bottom of the list.
However, Big Magic had already started to resonate with me. I’d recommended it to several people already, even though I hadn’t finished it, including Lucy over at Blondewritemore. I’d had several ‘wow’ moments, when the words I was reading seemed to echo and validate my own thoughts about the creative process, especially the idea of creating because it’s what you do, not for any desired end result. Just do the work and get it out there. Let it go.
I also believed in the idea of Big Magic, that ideas come from somewhere ‘beyond.’ It’s something I’ve always believed, that the stories coming to me were born somewhere else, just waiting for me to unwrap their layers and transfer them to the page.
And so now I am done. And I will say this: read this book. Whether you are a writer, an artist, a musician, a computer programmer, an avid gardener, a trainspotter, whatever. If you have an interest in your life, or if you are seeking the pathway to find what interests you, this book may well change your perspective and set you free to pursue what it is that makes you tick.
Big Magic indeed.
I’very never heard of it, Helen, but I can see it has had quite a profound effect on you.
Well, it was interesting in how it articulated a lot of the thoughts I had about the creative process, and how great suffering does not necessarily equate to great art. Rather, that the process can and possibly should be a source of great joy, and that the pleasure lies in the creative journey, rather than the result. (which is kind of a martial arts thing too, so perhaps another reason it resonated so with me).
I’ve never heard of it, Helen, but I can see it has had quite a profound effect on you.
I’ve not heard of this one, either but I’m always keen to read recommendations. It sounds very interesting. Thanks Helen and Lucy 🙂
You’re welcome, Esther 🙂 I really enjoyed it and felt it spoke to me, giving me a timely reminder of exactly how I feel about the creative process. So I would recommend it, definitely 🙂