Big Magic...A review.
I'm not going to lie. I resisted reading this book. I was worried it was going to be like Eat, Pray, Love. Everyone loved that book and I didn't. That doesn't mean it was a bad book; it means I didn't like something popular. That's it. But this was not the case with Big Magic. Everyone loves it and I love it. I finally read it when my dear friend Rachel handed me a hard copy and said, "Just trust me."
I fell in love with Elizabeth Gilbert when I watched her TED Talk more than six years ago. (Stop reading this silly review and watch it.) Her thoughts on genius and how we receive ideas revolutionized my thinking about being a creative person. Seriously, take the time and watch that video.
This book is like a long diary exploring more of those thoughts. She writes it in little snippets, perfect for the ADD reader in us all. My very favorite nugget from this book is the last quote below. It reminded that my work is "blessedly, refreshingly nonessential."
I'm woman enough to admit that photographs are not essential. They are a luxury, a bonus to this beautiful life that we live. But so is chocolate. And doesn't a little chocolate make life a lot more fun? Don't the completely unnecessary, cute jeans that were too expensive but make your butt look great bring you joy every time you put them on?
Luxuries make our lives better, in whatever form they take. When speaking of art, some will argue that it is essential. But not Elizabeth Gilbert. And not me. Art is our tangible reaction to intangible thoughts and emotions. And though it be not necessary, I would not want to live in a world without it.
Who is this book for?
Any and all people who are interested in living a creative life where you make things because you can't not make things: Absolutely.
What does this book say?
... in order to live this way—free to create, free to explore—you must possess a fierce sense of personal entitlement ... you will never be able to create anything interesting out of your life if you don't believe that you're entitled to at least try ... the arrogance of belonging ... is an absolutely vital privilege to cultivate if you wish to interact more vividly with life.
... I absolutely do believe that our artistic instincts have divine and magical origins, but that doesn't mean we have to take it all so seriously, because—in the final analysis—I still perceive that human artistic expression is blessedly, refreshingly nonessential. That's exactly why I love it so much.