I recently finished reading Big Magic- Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert while I was in Colorado last month. I started it a few days before I left and had to stop reading it because I was flying through it too fast. The book is fantastic! Filled with inspiration, ideas, and funny stories about the author’s own journey. It was a really quick read, which was another reason why I loved it so much! Who doesn’t like short chapters!?
We are all creative beings in one way or another and this book advocates pursuing your art regardless of fear. I think it would be a great read for everyone regardless of what creativity might mean to you. There were so many takeaways from this book that I just LOVED! Here are a few things that stuck with me the most:
Prioritize You Art. No matter your work schedule, always make time to get creative. The author had some great stories of people who loved to illustrate, paint, write, or ice skate. Some had full-time jobs and multiple kids, yet still cut time out of their day to spend one-on-one with their art. Anything you want to accomplish takes commitment and should be a priority in your life.
You Need to Deal with the Bad & Enjoy it. The author called this “the shit sandwich.” Basically, there will always be a part of the creative process that are not fun, annoying, or frustrating, but you NEED to deal with them. The author mentioned writers who would get frustrated at being turned down by publishers and want to quit. But being turned down, again and again, is just part of being a writer! You have to love the art enough to persist.
Accept Creativity In When Ideas Come To You. You need to be open and ready to take action when creativity comes knocking. If you are closed off to new ideas or just don’t do anything with the ideas that flow your way, creativity will be harder to come by. The author mentioned ideas for projects that she had but didn’t have “the time” to follow through. The projects ended up not feeling right anymore and she decided to put them to rest.
Don’t Put Pressure on your Art to Support You. This really stuck with me because for the longest time I felt that I was not successful unless my web design work would pay my bills. Pretty stupid because all along I was putting too much pressure on my work! It’s okay to work a full-time job to SUPPORT your creativity.
Done is Better than Good. This is so true because nothing will ever be PERFECT. You can review, tweak, refine for years and never actually put your work out into the world because it’s not “good enough.” Do your best, accept the work for what it is, and put it out into the world! I love this and want to keep it front and center whenever I’m second guessing myself.
Persistence is everything. The author talked about her own path to publishing books. She was rejected over and over again but kept writing and submitting. She talks about being committed to your work and that you have your whole life to figure it out.
Seriously, go check this book out. You’ll be inspired and ready to take on the world! What books have you read lately? Comment below!
“Do what brings you life. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic.
Thanks for Reading,