Sunday, 29 May 2016

What I've Learned From Reading Big Magic

First of all, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading this book – it’s the first book of Gilbert’s that I’ve properly read. I bought Eat Pray Love (her bestselling memoir, read by some twelve million people to date) some while ago for 99c in a bargain sale, and have tried to read it a few times, but never quite got stuck in. Obviously, having finished Big Magic, I’m going to attempt it again, but first of all, let’s talk creativity and magic.

  1.  Ideas come and go, but when they come, you better be ready to catch them - or they’ll move onto someone else. And if you do try working with an idea, but it doesn’t work out, that’s fine too – let it move on to someone else. Sometimes they're just not meant to be, and we have to be more accepting of that, and prepare ourselves for the next idea that comes along.
  2. Don’t ever put pressure on your creativity to pay your rent, bills or food – don’t try force a career out of it – you’ll only kill your inspiration. Don’t make it your day job – make it your hobby, and keep the passion alive. And above all, don't start a project with the intentions of acquiring fame of it -  it's a sure-as-heck way of killing creativity. I think this is an important one in terms of blogging too - we so often tend to feel like we're failing because we're not raking in followers and views all the time. So many people start blogs with the intention of becoming successful, and then can't figure out why they're struggling to write and post all the time. Pressuring your creative flow doesn't work. Do it because you love it, and don't pressure it.
  3.   Your art doesn’t have to save the world either, or be loved by millions. Make your art because you like making it, and for no other reason than that. This kind of links with the second point too - you don't need millions of admirers to validate your work. Heck, you don't even have to like your work all of the time. The important thing is that you keep going, and you keep working, and enjoying it. Creativity is supposed to be fun!
  4. It’s never too late to start living a creative life. You've got so, so many years head of you. If you're older, and at a completely different stage in life to idealistic millennials like me, don't fret - you're never too old to follow your creative passions, or to start something new.
  5. Curiosity is imperative. Open your mind, explore every idea or inkling, question everything. I found this one particularly interesting as I always feel like I've run out of inspiration, or that my creative flow has dried up, but it's often because I'm not curious enough about things. As Gilbert writes, "Curiosity is the truth and the way of creative living. Curiosity is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end." Keep on questioning, and never stop learning.

There are a million and one more lessons to be learned from the wonderful Liz Gilbert, which is why I've only mentioned five here. I've fallen head over heels in love with her writing - the way she talks about creativity, inspiration and ideas is so magical and inspirational. I know for sure I'll be going back to this book time and time again whenever I'm stuck in a rut!

Creatives – be you writers, artists, painters, designers, whatever – go out and pick up a copy of Big Magic. You won’t regret it.
Ciara Pollock © . Design by FCD.