Title: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Self-Help, Mind, Body and Spirit, Healthy Living
I must confess I’m not one for traditional self-help books. I’ve also considered these sorts of books to be mantra-chanting-full-of-pity accounts, and never picked one up to read. However, when Bloomsbury sent me Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert to review, I was intrigued by the front cover, and subtitle of ‘Creative Living Beyond Fear’.
As an English Masters student and budding writer, I knew how challenging living creatively could be, and as an author who stayed on the New York Bestsellers List for 3 years, I felt she could be somebody to look up too.
So I picked up this book without any knowledge or expectations of whether it would help, me but I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised.
Big Magic follows Gilbert’s own creative processes, and from that, she imparts her wisdom/tips and tricks in order to get people think and living creatively. She offers insights into the writing process, inspiration, making new ways of work, embarking on dreams or just adding a little bit of mindfulness and passion into our everyday lives, whilst never feeling too lecture-y or self-pitying.
The book is split into six sections, which lead naturally into each other, and really are enjoyable reads. Gilbert’s writing style is fluid, natural and remarkably unpretentious for a NYT Best Selling Author, and she seems to take on the world with wonder and majesty. She is aware that her own successes are amazing, yet she comments mainly on the joy of writing. The author also divulges the reader into her own backstory and upbringing, but doesn’t separate that from her message of living in a magical and creative way.
One thing I love about this book is her theory about ideas as sort of visceral beings that chose owners and you have to work with it. This really spoke to me, and I found myself taking real note from this book.
There has been some critics of this book, and it is true, it wouldn’t have been published if it wasn’t for the soaraway success of Eat, Pray, Love, but I personally don’t care about this.
I found this book to be a interesting read that helped me structure and subtly change my views on creativity. Whether or not I change my writing style or how I write, is a separate matter, but all in all I found this book to be a light, whimsical read that will, above all things, make you want to take up a pen, paintbrush or video camera and get creative.
Big Magic is available now through Bloomsbury Publishing House