How’s it going? Is everyone having a good week so far? I am. I’m excited to be reviewing another book that helps you with the writing process. My friend Esther introduced me to her favorite movie ever, Eat. Pray. Love and although I’d watched it before, I was able to re-watch it with new eyes and I loved it so much! The dialogue is packed with so much insight and it’s based on Liz Gilbert’s actual life. Anyway, I was so stoked to hear that she was putting out a book about creativity in general. I listened to her Big Magic podcast which is packed with lessons from the book itself and I loved it!
Big Magic explores the idea of inspiration in the most mystical and whimsical fashion. Liz Gilbert makes a case for why writers do not have to be matyrs of creativity and how joy can be a muse. I love her relentless perseverance about writing and putting oneself out there. I found a few bits a bit too whimsical but she has so many great lessons and has definitely opened my eyes to so many fascinating aspects of being a “maker”. I especially enjoyed the parts where she insists that your work is not your “baby”. The objectivity she brings to issues is very helpful and I think every writer who struggles with confidence, finding inspiration or putting their work out there needs this book.
“failure has a function. It asks you whether you really want to go on making things”
Fierce trust asks you to stand strong within this truth: “You are worthy, dear one, regardless of the outcome. You will keep making your work, regardless of the outcome. You will keep sharing your work, regardless of the outcome. You were born to create, regardless of the outcome. You will never lose trust in the creative process, even when you don’t understand the outcome.
“, on how to survive melancholy: “Be not solitary, be not idle.”) Find something to do—anything, even a different sort of creative work altogether—just to take your mind off your anxiety and pressure”
An unchecked ego is what the Buddhists call “a hungry ghost”—forever famished, eternally howling with need and greed.
Whatever it is you are pursuing, whatever it is you are seeking, whatever it is you are creating, be careful not to quit too soon
my friend Pastor Rob Bell warns: “Don’t rush through the experiences and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform you.”
I like that James Franco takes whatever acting job he wants (serious drama one minute, campy comedy the next) because he recognizes that it doesn’t all have to earn him an Oscar nomination—and I like that, between acting gigs, he also pursues his interests in art, fashion, academia, and writing.
Guys, please don’t mistake your creative work for a human child, okay? This kind of thinking will only lead you to deep psychic pain. I’m dead serious about this. Because if you honestly believe that your work is your baby, then you will have trouble cutting away 30 percent of it someday—which you may very well need to do. You also won’t be able to handle it if somebody criticizes or corrects your baby, or suggests that you might consider completely modifying your baby, or even tries to buy or sell your baby on the open market. You might not be able to release your work or share it at all—because how will that poor defenseless baby survive without you hovering over it and tending to it?
I was amazed to discover that my work could be played with so roughly—torn apart, chopped up, reassembled—and that it could still survive, perhaps even thrive, within its new parameters.
Emotional pain makes me the opposite of a deep person; it renders my life narrow and thin and isolated. My suffering takes this whole thrilling and gigantic universe and shrinks it down to the size of my own unhappy head. When my personal devils take over, I can feel my creative angels retreating. They watch my struggle from a safe distance, but they worry. Also, they grow impatient
I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible for me to write when I am unhappy, and it is definitely impossible for me to write fiction when I am unhappy. (In other words: I can either live a drama or I can invent a drama—but I do not have the capacity to do both at the same time.)
You are free, because everyone is too busy fussing over themselves to worry all that much about you.
Whoaaa. Quote overload there. This book is so good. Get it guys!