I received this book for Christmas after scribbling together a last-minute gift list for my mom, this book was all the buzz at the time so of course I added it to the bullet point email I sent her way. I have always been a fan of Elizabeth Gilbert and fell in love with Eat Pray Love, as everyone seemed to, when it hit bookstores in 2006. Of course, I was just as excited to learn that her new book was all about creativity and for artists. When I first read the title, Big Magic, I thought it may be a little too far out there for me – too new age, too “hippy-dippy”. To some it may be, but if you apply her key points to your own life, in your own way I think this book can be beneficial for all of us and not just creatives! Like she even says in the book, if you are alive you are a creative being, so that means YOU. Liz’s (I call her Liz like we are BFFs) voice is so prominent in her writing and her words are like liquid on the pages – so smooth and fluid that you can’t put the book down. I am sure I read the first 3/4th of the book sitting in my parents hot tub on Christmas Day, that’s how addicting and relatable Liz’s message is. If you are a creative, you will enjoy her narrative about the triumphs and turmoil that comes with the creative process and surviving on your art. Her writing is comforting that you are not alone in your daily quests to be a great artist or writer.
Below I have highlighted my favorite quotes and concepts that pulled at my heart a lil more than the rest and parts that received the honorary sweep of a highlighter (my favorite way to read books). Enjoy!
“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
We all have something inside of us – passion, a tinge or curiosity, talent – its up to us to find it and put it into action. A lot of people do not have the courage to explore or find that God given talent. They don’t have the confidence to hunt for it or if they do, very few put it into action. The hunt to uncover those jewels? That’s creative living. It’s up to us to live a life full of purpose or a life that fits the mold of what we are told. Which one will you choose?
“Work with your heart, because – I promise – if you show up for your work day after day after after day you just might get lucky enough some random morning to burst right into bloom.”
One of my favorite passages from this book. Hustle full of heart is what we all need to do to burst into bloom. And bursting into bloom does not neccesarily mean monetary success. The thing about a creative life is that you can work and work and work and sometimes we will still fail. That’s the thing about being a creative, nothing is guaranteed. Nobody is obligated to love your work. There is no magic equation to becoming profitable. However, sometimes that is not the only end goal. I love how Liz talks about “bursting into bloom” above, it may not necessarily mean making a living solely off your art, but it may mean finding your niche, you groove, your happiness, and your place in this world through your creative calling.
“Because if you love and want something enough – whatever it is – then you probably don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.”
You just have to decide what sort of shit sandwich you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much “What are you passionate about?” The question is “What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?”. As a wedding photographer that sandwich might include the sore feet, the sacrificing of summer weekends and social activities, the long hours of editing… but it’s all worth it and that sandwich is definitely worth eating!
“There’s no dishonor in having a job. What is dishonorable is scaring away your creativity by demanding that it pay for your entire existence.”
A popular topic for a lot of creatives I know! Take advantage of the season of having a conventional job. I know the goal for a lot of you is to have your creative work provide for you full time and sustain your lifestyle by itself. However, thats putting a lot of pressure on your art to pay the bills. Sometimes when we feel that much pressure our creativity takes a hit for it. Don’t be discouraged if you are still working a 9 to 5, it may just be feeding your creative endeavor and giving it more life!
These are only a few of the amazing words of wisdom you will find in Big Magic. I invite you to pick up the book yourself and take it all in!
What book should I read next?? Comment below!
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