Book Review

Review: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic is a book that I feel I was drawn to. Not because I had any idea of what it was about, and not because of the person who wrote it. I think I was drawn to it because it was something I was meant to discover and explore. I first saw Big Magic when I cut out a tiny little picture of it for my vision board. It was the colours of the cover than drew me to it and I glued it down onto the section that I had designated for Creative Writing for 2017. It was a tiny little section but as the year is going on, and I do know it’s only the start of February, I feel like that could possibly become the most important section of the vision board for this year.

Let me backtrack and describe my first experience with Liz Gilbert… I read Eat, Pray, Love, during a personal crisis when I had finished my undergrad in University. I had absolutely no idea whatsoever about life. I didn’t know where I was going, what I was doing, or how to control the crippling anxiety I was experiencing each and every day. I remember reading this book and after much deliberation, telling my father that I wanted to move to Italy. Why not, I thought, if it worked for Liz it might work for me. What I didn’t realise was that simply running away from my life here wasn’t going to change the ways in which I experienced life. What would be so different about Italy? It would be warmer… I would have the world’s greatest pizza at my disposal, but would there be some magic line across the border of Italy that would make my personal insecurities and anxiety disappear? Absolutely not!

In hindsight, what I realise now is that I really connected with Liz’s methods of storytelling and communicating. Her writing style speaks to me in a very honest way and allows me to find the courage to explore myself more completely. I never did finish Eat, Pray, Love. I had felt that the “love” part wasn’t applicable to me at the time. Ever since I have found love however, I have felt the urge to go back and finish the book. I called to my parents house yesterday and picked it up, ready to finish the section of the book that I now feel is applicable to my adult life.
Let’s get back to the actual review!
Big Magic is officially like my own bible. This book has reignited a spark inside of me and has allowed me to explore a part of myself that I had buried away. I honestly couldn’t put it down. I have learned so much from reading this book and I feel that I have received permission to write without the ‘success’ that I feel should come afterwards. I need to write because it is a craft that I love. I need to write for me. I need to write in order to express myself. I should write because that’s what I was born to do! If anything comes from it then that’s just an added bonus. If not, then there’s no big deal because in reality I’m only writing for myself to begin with.
This book was a page turner for me. I felt like inspiration itself was speaking to me and telling me that everything was going to be ok no matter what. I really loved how Liz told me that the world would keep spinning, rivers would not run backwards, and life would go on even if I failed, even if I were to get bad reviews! I’m a person who has always been very much afraid of life and the unknown. I have been terrified of the future and what may or may not happen. And that’s in all areas of life, not just in terms of creativity. This book has shown me that fear is a necessary part of life but that my curiosity should shine through much stronger than my fear. It’s ok for us all to be afraid of the unknown but, as Liz says, what would you do if failure meant nothing to you? I know for a fact that I’d travel, I’d write, I’d throw caution to the wind and live the best life I possibly could.

I can imagine that this is a book that I will be picking up and reading forever more. It’s one that you can pick up and open anywhere and know that you will be instantly inspired and rejuvenated by what you read. The book will show you that you really have no need to worry, that you have every right to create; whether that’s writing, painting, sculpting, acting… any form of creating you please. You are entitled to do whatever sets your soul on fire and not feel guilty about it.

If you feel like there’s something inside of you that you need to create then go out and buy this book now. Like, immediately! You genuinely won’t be sorry!!!

I would give this book 5/5 stars!

All I have for this book is pure love! And it is definitely one I will read again and again!



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