Title: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Published: by Riverhead Books on September 22, 2015
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.
I never read Eat, Pray, Love, because I didn’t enjoy the movie at all and I’m still asking myself why the world went crazy for that. But I’ve read the best things about Big Magic , the internet LOVES this book, and it was the reading of the month for the NovelTea Book Club, so I definitely had to read it. Unfortunately, it disappointed me since the first chapter and I had a hard time finishing it.
Elizabeth Gilbert walks you through random episodes of her life telling what she has learned from, but the overall feeling to me is that the core of this book is just a bunch of predictable thoughts. It should be a guide to discover the Big Magic through a series of stories, according to Gilbert, but I didn’t learn anything new and I didn’t find any actionable steps to actually help me. Probably because I’m not an author and my biggest dream doesn’t include being an artist? I don’t know, honestly.
The thing that mostly bothers me about this book is that it can be easily summarized with a couple of trite sentences like “everybody is an artist”, “you don’t have to study in expensive schools to become someone”, and “you need to practice in order to become a better artist”.
This was my first book from Gilbert and I was genuinely excited to read it, since all the good stuff I’ve heard about it, so I did expect a bunch of lessons to make me an artist and I didn’t expect to read known concepts among episodes of the author’s life.
I’d say that’s not my cup of tea, I’m sorry. On a positive note, I like how she writes, she looks like a pleasant and down to earth person and I might give her another chance sooner or later.