Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

I perused books about writing to see what I would like to share with you this week. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I think has a lot to offer both you and me. Writing, of course, is about creativity and how we access it to get our words on the page.


Big Magic


In the beginning, Elizabeth Gilbert tells us a story about the poet, Jack Gilbert, (that she states is no relation) and one of his students. He asked this student after class what she wanted to do with her life, she said she wanted to be a writer and he asked her an interesting question.

“Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”

Wow… that hit me in the gut.

Shortly after telling us this story she mentions, “Living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.” between the first quote and the second, she now has my full attention because fear is my biggest problem, just as it is for most creative people.

She goes on to dive into the importance of bravery.

“Creative living is a path for the brave. and we all know that when courage dies creativity dies with it. We all know that fear is a desolate boneyard where our dreams go to desiccate in the hot sun.”

“…when courage dies creativity dies with it.” how powerful is that!

And the difference between being brave and being fearless that took my breath away.

“Creativity is a path for the brave, yes, but it is not a path for the fearless and it is important to recognize the distinction. Bravery means doing something scary, fearlessness means not even understanding what the word scary means.”

Oh my goodness, what she says about trying to be fearless, instead of brave, is priceless! For that alone you need to buy this book! I feel like she is talking to me directly, that she sees into my soul and all the struggles I’ve had trying to get rid of my fear so that I can do what I feel I was put on this planet to do. I didn’t know I had it all wrong.

She goes on to explain how to work with inspiration. She talks about how she seduces her creativity and this really hit home for me.

“If I am not actively creating something, then I am probably actively destroying something.”

Does this sound familiar? It certainly rings true for me.

I chose to listen to an audio version of this book but I am going to order the paperback so that I can read through it again and again as well as highlight all of my favorite parts.

I highly recommend you get your own copy of, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert for inspiration and to help light a fire under your words! It certainly lit a fire under me and now I’m working on one of my WIPs that I had almost given up on.

I am going to leave you with one last quote from her book that is something her mother, Carol Gilbert, said to her.

“Done is better than good.”

I whole heartily agree because once it is done, you have that feeling of accomplishment, you also have something to work with and polish into something better if you so choose.


Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Waterbury, Connecticut in 1969, and grew up on a small family Christmas tree farm. She attended New York University, where she studied political science by day and worked on her short stories by night. After college, she spent several years traveling around the country, working in bars, diners and ranches, collecting experiences to transform into fiction. Read more…


Do you have any books on writing or blogging that you would like to share with us? Leave a comment below on your favorite writing and blogging books.

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About MDragonwillow 95 Articles
Morgan Dragonwillow: Poet , author of Wild Woman Waking & Dancing within Shadow, massage therapist and facilitator of magical journeys who (mostly) doesn't let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. When she isn't working with clients, writing or dancing you can find her encouraging and supporting her writing community at #StoryDam#OctPoWriMo, & #PoetsonthePage You can also find her on Google+


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