Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Today is our final link-up for the Big Magic Read Along. What a great way make a creative start to 2016!

Here are our previous discussions:

Today, we wrap up the book with Part V, Trust, and Part VI, Divinity.

Share your thoughts on your blog and post it on the link list below, or on tomorrow’s list that will feature our final progress reports on the New Year’s Resolution Reading Challenge. Or, simply share your experience in the comments.


What trust issues do you have with creativity? What, from the Trust chapter of Big Magic, helped you?

Nothing in Big Magic directly dealt with my greatest fear about creativity, but the Trust chapter helped me, anyway.

When I open myself up to creativity, I’m inundated with ideas, overwhelmed. Everything feels equally important. Everything wants my full attention. Everything feels like it must be acted on this very minute – never mind that I haven’t implemented the idea that arrived a minute previously.

My creativity is like a fire hose. I fear drowning.

This quote helped:

This is my question, and I think it’s a fair one: Why would your creativity not love you? It came to you, didn’t it? It drew itself near. It worked itself into you, asking you for your attention and your devotion. It filled you with the desire to make and do interesting things. Creativity wanted a relationship with you. That must be for a reason, right? Do you honestly believe that creativity went through all the trouble of breaking into your consciousness only because it wanted to kill you? (p. 216)

What if I trusted that my creativity is not, in fact, trying to drown me? What if my creativity is just exuberant when it gets a little attention, like a puppy that hasn’t learned to stop jumping on people? What if my creativity and I can train each other to work together better? I’ll pay more attention; creativity will come at me with a little more gentleness, a little less speed, and keeping all four paws on the floor.

This question came from the reading guide (pdf) on Elizabeth Gilbert’s website: What Big Magic do you want to make? Write down four fiercely creative goals.

My creativity lately has been drawn to Learn in Public, a notion from Doug Neill that there are many benefits to sharing our learning experiences with others on the internet. My first blog, begun in 2003 or 2004, called Wanderings of a Student Librarian, logged what I was learning in library school. That blog helped me get my first library job.

So, I’m a big believer in learning in public and I look forward to the release of Doug’s workbook (now available at a special pre-order price) on February 5th so that I can approach my learn in public projects in a more structured and conscious way.

So, here are my four fiercely creative goals:

  • Work through the Learn in Public workbook
  • Learn in Public about how to make a table display for a conference on February 27
  • Learn in Public about how to give a travel presentation on Cuba for late March
  • Learn in Public about how to be compassionate by following Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong, a month of Sundays for each step, for the next year (see today’s other post for more details on this project).

I have lots more ideas (see the fire hose discussion, above), but some of these will be done fairly quickly and I can add new things, as I complete the ones listed.

Have you read Big Magic? Did it help you engage better with your creativity?




Comments

Trust in Creativity #BigMagic #ReadAlong — 2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Conference Table Display — a plea for help | Joy's Book Blog

  2. I read Big Magic for the read-along, but was not inspired to post about it (ironic?). I felt I was rushing through it and not reading it as it was meant to be read, but I was planning to join in the discussion. It just didn’t happen.
    I have a lot of ideas for creative things to do, but I don’t follow through on them. Or should I say, I HAVEN’T followed through on them YET?!
    I think your idea of “training” your creativity to be less exuberant is fantastic!

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