Chances are, you have a copy of Eat, Pray, Love sitting on a bookshelf somewhere in your house or floating around in the storage of your Kindle. As one of our all-time faves, the novel has touched our hearts and has inspired many of us in the office to pursue our dreams. Recently, we were ecstatic to learn that the same author, Elizabeth Gilbert, released Big Magic—a book filled with the author’s wisdom and perspective revolving around creativity.
As an author, Gilbert discusses the challenges she faced from a creative standpoint. Gilbert uses Big Magic as a tool to teach her readers how to find new ways to address the creative challenges we face in work, relationships, or our passions and to live our lives with more mindfulness and passion.
For our second Book Club of 2016, our Co-Founder, Lorena, read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and it’s safe to say, she took away A LOT. The book is divided into chapters that represent each step of the ‘creative process’ people go through when starting a new venture. Take a look as we dive into each step and what Big Magic is really all about!
Being creative is not just for people of the arts. The book tells the reader that living a creative life is doing what you love and are passionate about. By doing what you love, you’ll achieve happiness and success in the broader perspective.
There’s a misconception about how everyone needs to be fearless, but that’s not true. The thing we should all strive to be is brave. Nothing is ever without risk. We just need to be brave enough to start something new and follow our creative path.
Ideas are like energy forms. They float around the world as creative energy and bounce from person to person until they find someone who will turn them into reality. Once as idea hits you, it’s your right to say yes or no. If you say no, the idea will find someone else who will help it develop into something real. If you’ve ever had an idea, done nothing about it, and all of a sudden, see it materialize somewhere else, it relates to this school of thought.
Once you say yes to an idea, that’s when inspiration hits you. An idea is not enough. Allow yourself to be inspired and if you decide to go forward with your idea, working hard and dedicating yourself to your idea is of extreme importance.
Note: One example the book gave was that way back when, people didn’t believe that people were geniuses. However, they believed that people HAVE genius. When you understand you’re not a genius, but that you have genius within you, you can take yourself lightly. When you get put into a box of ‘genius,’ sometimes people are too afraid to do more or move forward because their expectations are so high.
Give yourself permission to follow what you want to do and don’t just follow the norm. You have the ability to try something new and do what you want to do, regardless of what other people think or say.
This type of entitlement is not from an egotistical side, but from the view of self-empowerment. Self-doubt and personal judgment are the two things that usually prevent you from living your creative life, but you are entitled to anything you want.
Keep working towards your goal. When you persist in your work, you learn about yourself and your personal creative process. The next time you want to start a new project, you’ll be able to recognize different stages and will know how to better maneuver yourself going forward.
Note: Don’t quit your day job. Unless you have something substantial to fall back on, quitting a constant source of money to pursue creativity can cause financial stress which can then result in creative distress. Never allow your dreams to turn into a nightmare. Find a way to balance.
Trust yourself and know that you can do what you want and find your own path. Keep in mind though that you may fail. And if or when you do fail, have the courage to forgive yourself. If you put everything into that project and it happened to fail, be content.
Too often, we don’t put our work out there because we’re scared. No matter how scared you are and no matter what the outcome may be, put yourself out there. So many people ask, “What would you do if you couldn’t fail?” The better question to ask is, “What would you do if you know you can fail?”
Lorena's Favorite Quotes
“So many people don’t do something because they want to be original. Just by being authentic, you’re being original. Allow yourself to be yourself.”
“A lot of people start their passion projects to help others, but it doesn’t work like that. You should start a project to help yourself. In the end, you’ll have created something that is good because you liked it and will ultimately, help others along the way.”
How has this book helped you?
I just started my blog, Call Me Loré. It took me a long time to do it because I was scared to be at the disposal of other people’s opinions, but I finally took the leap and I am so happy I did. This book has really put into perspective that if I put my all into this project, I can’t be upset if it doesn’t work out. I’m putting my all into this and that’s all I can do and ask for. It’s comforting to know that it’s okay to be fearful and to doubt yourself, but in order to overcome, you have to choose the path of bravery. When it comes to my blog (or any project), it’s important to not let others dictate if my project is a failure or a success. I need to determine that for myself.
We really hope this pretty in-depth peek at the book encourages you to check Big Magic out for yourself! And if you’re starting a new project or venture, know that we are so proud of you! To believing in ourselves!