Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

I love that serendipitous moment when you stumble across something that you absolutely need in your life right at that moment. Most recently for me, that was Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I had already read Eat Pray Love, so I was familiar with her work and enjoyed her writing style, but I hadn’t gotten to the point where I was looking into her other books yet. One summer day, I walked over to my neighborhood library and I gravitated towards a book with a brightly colored spine. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.

To all my fellow creatives out there, add this to your list. This book isn’t just for people in the creative fields, it’s for anyone who is struggling to embrace what they really want out of life. This book is about overcoming internal and external challenges, making the most out of everyday life and living out your dreams. This book helped on my journey of starting my own business, and I want to share it with you. Right now, maybe when you need it the most.  Here are just a few moments that resonated with me. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to start.

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Q: What is creativity?

A: The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of the human spirit.

“The Universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels- that’s creative living. The Courage to go on that hunt in the first place- that’s what separates a mundane existence form a more enchanted one.”

“Perfectionists often decide in advance that the end product is never going to be satisfactory, so they don’t even bother trying to be creative in the first place….Perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear.”

The Letter to Fear

“Dearest Fear: creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do.  I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever i’m about to do anything interesting- and may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still- your suggestions will ever be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not to allowed to touch the road maps, you’re not allowed to suggest detours, you’re not allowed to fiddle with the tempter. Dude- your not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”