As a fan of Eat, Pray, Love, I was excited to hear award-winning Elizabeth Gilbert was publishing a book on creativity. Called Big Magic, it delves into Gilbert’s creative process and the wisdom she has accumulated throughout her fruitful writing life.
Big Magic came into my life at a time when I was doubting my writing and was wondering whether I could ever make a success of my novel. It transformed my thinking. Cutting right through the myths around creative block, procrastination, and creative living, it liberated both my mind and my writing. I’m back in love with my story!
Big Magic is encouraging, conversational and a little mystical but don’t be fooled. It’s the stiff talk all writers need to overcome fear and get writing. Here are the six lessons that inspired me most and I hope will empower your writing too…
Be brave. It’s the only way to discover the treasures inside you and see how far your writing can go. There’s more to you than you realise.
Be open to a little magic when it comes to inspiration. Notice when ideas are trying to get your attention. Discovering a special one is so exciting. If you ignore it, though, it could leave. Equally, if you choose it’s not the idea for you, it’s okay to let it move on to someone else.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to be a writer. Instead, write where curiosity leads you and for the joy of it.
Make a promise to your writing. Vow you’ll keep working at it. The best way to persist is to keep falling in love with writing, seduce it and steal time with it. Some of the best novels are written in little chunks every day.
Writing should not mean suffering. It can be joyful. Don’t let perfectionism or worry stop you writing or stop you finishing. Believe you are good enough.
What we create with our writing matters. It’s such wonderful privilege. Make space for writing inside yourself and you’ll be surprised what can happen.
Whether you’re writing or are just thinking about it, whether you’re in love with the craft or are feeling despair at the thought of it, Big Magic could help you rediscover joy in writing and bring back the magic of creating new worlds with your words. Great writing will always require sustained effort, persistence and focus but what’s the harm in tapping into a little magic to help us on our journeys to create wonderful stories?
Tune into Elizabeth Gilbert’s free ‘magic lessons’ podcast here to get even more inspiration and, for the full experience, Big Magic is available on Amazon in the UK and US as well as other bookstores.