I watched an interview awhile back with Elizabeth Gilbert talking about her new book and it was so inspiring. She has this ability to articulate her thoughts so beautifully and her perspective on creativity was so honest and encouraging that I had to share this book.
You probably recognize her name from her bestselling book Eat, Pray, Love. In her book, she shares her journey from divorcing her husband to finding herself through traveling to Italy, India, and Indonesia. In 2010, her book turned into a blockbuster movie starring Julia Roberts.
After several years of writing books in between, she launched Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear in late 2015. You can find the book here.
Here are my top 7 takeaways from the book:
1–Don’t expect your creative pursuits to pay the bills, that’s creative suicide. Creativity never promised to pay the bills. Gilbert always had day jobs to help support her writing. Managing your expectations is a honest way to manage your creativity. It’s saying I want to start this side thing but I’m not expecting it to take care of my bills. And, until it can support me, I’ll keep working my full time job.
2–Time for your passions requires you to pilfer time from whenever you can find it. I’ve had a hard time managing my expectations with time. One time managing tip that has worked for me is working when baby goes to sleep. Nap time = writing time. When can you squeeze in your creative time?
3–Don’t let fear control your creativity. Fear is allowed to come along for the ride because it keeps you in check but it doesn’t get to touch the radio, the steering wheel or anything else for that matter. Fear of failure, what others will think, rejection, etc., all keep people from pursuing their passions. I think this is probably the most valuable takeaway–not letting fear take over your creativity.
4–Are you willing to eat the s*%! sandwich that comes with your creative endeavor? One of her examples for this is are you going to let hundreds of rejection letters from publishers stop you from continuing to create or are you going to keep going until you do get that book deal? Another example, once you launch your product, and get some great reviews, but also some bad reviews, will this stop you from creating?
5–Perfectionism holds people back from starting or finishing their creative pursuits. Have you ever heard yourself say, “Oh I’m waiting for the perfect time to start or when my painting, writing, fill in the blank is perfect then I’ll put it out into the world.” Don’t hold yourself back. We only have a short time on this Earth. Do what matters to you and do it now.
6–Don’t worry what others think about you. I touched a little on this on 4. The truth is people are too worried about their own self to care about what you’re doing. Go out there and do your thing whatever that may be. If it’s exciting, fun, and makes you happy then you’re doing something right.
7–Done is better than good is a saying from Gilbert’s mom. And I wholeheartedly agree with this statement. In my own case, I spend so much time editing something I’ve written but I know at some point I have to go ahead and put it out there whether it’s good or bad. This is a promise I made to myself that I will write weekly. So yes, done is better than good.
So now I turn it over to you. Did you read the book? What did you think? What are your thoughts on my top takeaways above? I hope you found something inspiring from this book and I hope you get a chance to read the book for yourself.
As always, thanks for visiting.