Big Magic

  • Title –  Big Magic : Creative Living Beyond FearBig-Magic-Cover
  • Author – Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Publisher – Bloomsbury Publishing India
  • Genre – Non- Fiction
  • Pages – 276
  • Price – INR 499 (Get the best deal on Amazon)
  • ISBN – 978-9-3848-9899-1

Synopsis – 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.

Review – Coming from Elizabeth Gilbert, an author whom I have come to look up to for her straight forward, logical thinking I was really excited to read her latest book. The book has a captivating cover and an apt title ( the title holds better relevance after I’ve read the whole book because it has become my secret to unveil the “Big Magic” in my life). As the book revolves around creativity, it is only natural to have a cover with colors bursting and blooming to portray its connect with all things creative.

One look at the book and my mind was stuck at “Creative living beyond fear”. My initial thoughts were that Elizabeth Gilbert would dedicate a major chunk of this book in telling us to how to conquer fear to attain a creatively fulfilling life. But, as I started reading this self-help book, my initial thoughts were proved wrong and how.

Big Magic aims at anyone who is into creativity in any form. Though it mostly aims at writers and artists as the author suggests, it is also for figure skaters, potters, knitters, painters, bakers or anyone who wants to inject that magic into their lives.

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life.”

Gilbert’s approach towards creativity is very radical, democratic and mystical. The book is seasoned with anecdotes that help grasp a better understanding of the points made by the author. I absolutely loved her belief that we aren’t geniuses but we all have a “genius” who pays us a visit from time to time helping us perform acts extraordinaire in our respective fields. Our job is to work humbly and never expect it to arrive but be ready to make the most of the opportunity when it does.

“Through the mere act of creating something—anything—you might inadvertently produce work that is magnificent, eternal, or important.”

Every page, or more correctly every line of the book helped me spring clean the cobwebs of self-doubt and fear that had been keeping me from pursuing my creative dreams. Gilbert has shared the mystical idea that inspirations float around in the universe, knocking on the doors of creative people and waiting to be taken in. While reading what sounds magical, was very easy for me to grasp because I have myself experienced something very similar in my life on more than one occasion. Having found someone who could put my experiences into words so accurately made me feel an instant connect with the book and also the author.

” The older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days I’m far more moved by authenticity. If your work is authentic enough, believe me it will feel original.”

One of my favorite parts of the book is where the author talks about how people are way too obsessed with “original” ideas and could do better by investing the same effort in finding authentic ones.

The second favorite part of the book is where Gilbert talks about the futility of demonizing fear or fighting back fear in an attempt to become fearless. She metaphorically explains how much better it is to make room for fear in our lives, allow it to be our companion on our road trip but does not give it the power to make any decisions in your creative realm. The beautifully crafted explanations, made me see the fear in a new light, one where I no longer let it be the reason of, me giving up my creative pursuits.

” Let inspiration lead you wherever it wants. For most of history people just made things, and they didn’t make such a big freaking deal out of it.”

The book is generously studded with numerous gems of advice on how to prepare a recipe for success. The advices given by Elizabeth Gilbert in the book are rock solid and potentially transformative (at least I felt something in me change). The pearls of wisdom shared in this book excite us to embark on a never-ending journey of creative living.

But, given the pedestal of literary success at which Elizabeth Gilbert stands today, these advise sound ‘easy for her to say‘. The author talks about the criticisms her highly acclaimed work Eat Pray Love faced and how she took it all in her stride without deviating from her resolve to dedicate her life to creative writing without being affected by the outcome of the ventures. Though she inspires us to break free from the shackles of the well-rehearsed behavior of demonizing fear, giving up creation when failure strikes, practicing these could be highly challenging in the real world.

Like all works, inspiring us to change our perspective on a more productive living, this wonderful book is one to be savored slowly like a delicious dessert. I have read many parts of this book more than once to let their awesomeness sink in my heart, helping me transform my journey of creative living. Big Magic is one of those books I will keep coming back to again and again in my life for inspiration.

I highly recommend this beautiful, positive book to each and every person irrespective of their age, the field of work and interests because there is something worth adopting in life for everyone in almost every chapter of this book.

About the Author – Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of seven books of fiction and non-fiction, including Eat Pray Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything, which sold over ten million copies worldwide and was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. Her most recent work, The Signature of All Things, was a New York Times bestseller, was long-listed for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize 2014. She lives in New Jersey.

Rating – 4.5/5

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