Book Thoughts: Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

I love Elizabeth Gilbert. I love her a stupid amount. The critical backlash after the success of Eat, Pray, Love is by far one of the most fascinating things I’ve witnessed when it comes to modern non-fiction, but her work continues to speak to me in the weirdest and most wonderful ways.

I tend to have kicks when it comes to writers. I read one of their books, and I want to read everything they’ve ever written. Such is the case with Gilbert. I read Eat, Pray, Love in high school, and it kicked me into wanting to read everything she’d written at the time.

This lead me to reading The Last American Man, which I loved dearly. Of course, senior year was hectic and I didn’t finish my quest to read all of her books, but a recent spontaneous decision to buy Big Magic has kicked me back to reading all of her work.

Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear, is an encouragement of your endeavors. Gilbert advocates that you do what you love. That you don’t have to quit your job, or dedicate every spare moment, or lose yourself to your creativity. But just to go ahead and do it.

This book is blissfully sweet, and if you’ve ever heard Gilbert speak, you can hear her encouraging you, your own cheerleader in a sea of discouragement. This book engages, makes you laugh, and fills you with love.

Part of me feels like this book is way too similar to her TED talk “Your Elusive Creative Genius” and you can pick up bits of this talk in the book. But I’d argue that Gilbert’s goes farther than the talk, and for this, I am grateful.

This was really a book I needed at this point in my life. I have two jobs where I choose my own hours and decide when I work, but I lose much of my blog writing/novel writing time to worrying. In branching out socially, I’ve lost time I used to spend crocheting. I’m at my happiest, but my creative output is at its lowest.

Is Big Magic worth buying? If you are a Gilbert fan, absolutely. If you need a pep talk on the regular, definitely. Gilbert’s encouraging, vulnerable, loving tone is one I am grateful for, and I am glad to have read it when I did.

What do you think of Elizabeth Gilbert? Have you read Big Magic? Let me know if a comment below.

-M

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