If you couldn’t tell by now, I’ve overloaded myself with self-help books. And this week is no different. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert, aka the author of Eat, Pray, Love, is all about living your creative life without stressing over whether or not it’s going to work out, something that as a blogger and freelancer I have to keep in mind.
Now, this book isn’t a how to guide about becoming successful. Gilbert’s main point throughout the book is that yes, the creative life is a scary one but rather than run from the fear, one should embrace it and learn to coexist with it. As someone who is trying to build a career in a field that is full of unknowns and uncertainty, the book truly resonated with me. For so long, I was unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. Hell, I’m still not entirely sure. There’s a good chance that I live to 100 and still don’t have it figured out. But that’s all of a part of living a creative lifestyle.
In the book she hits the nail on the head about finding (and losing) inspiration, making money, bouncing back after failures, and finding your passion through curiosity. If you’re a struggling blogger like me, you know that in no way, shape, or form is it easy, especially when it comes to being able to do so full time. Gilbert is very upfront in that she tells all creatives that while creativity should be rewarded, don’t rely on it to make an income. Get a job, pay your bills, and don’t get suckered into turning your creativity into a chore that you no longer enjoy. Now this was a huge wake up call to me. In my ideal world, I am blogging and traveling full time. I am my own boss and I’m not working a blue collared job. Yet Elizabeth Gilbert did not quit her full time job until she had 3 best-sellers. 3! Ultimately you can’t rush it.
If there’s one thing that resonated with me the most it was the idea of passion vs. curiosity. As I mentioned I’m still pretty clueless as to what I want to be when I grow up. But I’m following my curiosity. My curiosity for writing, for traveling, for social media. And that’s why in the last year or so I have focused on writing and made it a goal to travel as often as I possibly can. Because that’s what I’m curious about. And who knows, nothing may come of it. But I don’t believe that’s true. Because I’m putting it into the universe that I will accomplish all that I want to accomplish.
I’m going to leave you with two of my favorite quotes from the book and if they don’t inspire you to buy it right now than I don’t know what will.
“Don’t rush through the experiences and circumstances that have the most capacity to transform you”
“What would you do even if you knew that you might very well fail?”
I’d give this book about a 12/10 so go read it because it will truly awaken your creative passion, no matter how small it may be right now.