“Eat Pray Love” Author Elizabeth Gilbert Invites Us To Live Creatively Without Fear
“Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” is just as riveting as “Eat, Pray, Love.” If you struggle with creativity, this is the answer.
Whenever you have doubts or get hung up on your own talents, a sweep through Gilbert’s book should get you right back on track and moving. She cuts right through all of the verbiage and gives us the real goods. Here is a sample of her thinking.
“If you are alive you are a creative person.”
Gilbert tells us to forget all of the intimidating effects the label “creative” calls up and realize creativity begins with curiosity and we are all curious. Once you tap into your curiosity and give yourself permission to follow it wherever it takes you, you will find very quickly that you are living a much more creative life than you were before.
“You can’t get rid of fear, but do remember fear is boring.”
Gilbert puts fear in its place, reminding us that we do not want to get rid of fear; we all need it to keep us alive. We are all here because we had fear that preserved us. But actually fear can be boring and dull. There are no nuances. So when you are attempting a creative project and start to feel fear, she tells us to put it in its place. Just stop and chat with it and say something like, “I’m just trying to write a poem, no one’s going to die.” You don’t have to go to war with it, just talk with it and move on.
“Let Go of Your Fantasy of Perfection”
Gilbert flatly states, perfection is the death of all good things. It’s the death of pleasure, productivity and joy. It’s a bludgeon that goes around murdering everything good. Of course we all strive to do good work, but we need to make it “as good as can be,” not perfection.
Many of us know how quickly seeking perfection can muffle creativity. I have seen too many people pursue it and become thoroughly entangled in the process.
“Frustration is not an interruption of the process, frustration is the process.”
Some creative people, according to Gilbert, cannot handle frustration. They want the whole creative process to be that divine moment when everything come together and works perfectly, which we all know is quite rare.
Gilbert reminds us “The frustration, the hard part, the obstacle, the insecurities, the difficulty, the ‘I don’t know what to do with this thing now,’ that’s the creative process. And if you want to do it without encountering frustration and difficulty, then you’re not made for that line of work.”
If this glimpse of Gilbert’s thoughts on creativity intrigues you, you’ll want to read more and keep it at your elbow when you get bogged down.