Big Magic

Thoughts bigmagic by Elizabeth Gilbert, Riverhead Books 2015, 273 pages

Challenge: for Boat Friends Summer Reading Club

“Measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”

Genre: Self-help, Creativity
Type/Source: Hardback / Purchased at Indie BookStore
 Why I read this now:  Summer means Boating

MOTIVATION for READING: I have a friend, our next door boat neighbor, who inspired us to have a “bucket list summer” and one of the challenges was to read this book, together.

“Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.”

WHAT’s it ABOUT:  Ms. Gilbert’s personal thoughts and her own exploration of how to be creative, how to MAKE art, why to make art. And art is totally subjective; whatever art is in you. Let that idea chase you down and find you to be its partner.

WHAT’s GOOD: I love the anecdotes, I love her style, I love her encouragement. I really enjoy the quotes and writer references. I admire her unabashed go-for-it fierceness.

What’s NOT so good: The book is too short?! 🙂

FINAL THOUGHTS: So many quotes I could share. So many things that she stimulates in my head – ideas, past memories good and bad, smiles, the inspiration to try…

“Frustration is not an interruption of your process; frustration IS the process.”

(The REAL work is pushing through, keep on keeping on, manage the gaps between the glory bursts of inspiration.)

I am one of those who loved EPL and I also really enjoyed The Signature of All Things. If you don’t like her fine, but why exactly such hostility? I can think of so much worse things to be against than the work that EG is putting out there into the universe. To each their own — I can respect that; but let’s be kind and uplifting and supportive and creative!

RATING: Four slices of pie with extra whipped cream.

” It’s a simple and generous rule of life that whatever you practice, you will improve at. For instance: If I had spent my twenties playing basketball every single day, or making pastry dough every single day, or studying auto mechanics every single day, I’d probably be pretty good at foul shots and croissants and transmissions by now.”





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10 thoughts on “Big Magic

  1. I adored this book!! So much so, I ended up getting it in audio for relistening to it. I also enjoyed EPL too, and The Signature of All Things. She’s a good writer and speaker, and just happens to be very good at sharing her perspective and motivating/inspiring people. I think that’s a very good thing 🙂

  2. I like Elizabeth Gilbert too. I haven’t read this yet, but I enjoyed Eat Pray Love (and also had some problems with it cause a person can do both). I think a lot of the backlash to Elizabeth Gilbert had to do with a type of story that EPL popularized, rather than her and her book, specifically. Plus, obviously, it was a super gendered backlash.

    Gilbert always seems a bit nuts to me, but in a fun way. Like I wouldn’t want to date someone like her, but I’d totes want them as a brunch buddy.

  3. I expected this book to just be the same old tired advice and was stunned how much I loved it. It’s such a joyful book about creativity. I checked it out from the library but it’s one I think is worth owning for rereads, so it’s on my mental list of books to eventually purchase. Glad you enjoyed it, too!

  4. I both read and listened to the audio of this book and loved both versions! I’m a Liz Gilbert super-fan. The Ann Patchett anecdote blew me away! Have you listened to her Big Magic podcast yet? I haven’t but I intend to.

  5. Emily @ Books, the Universe & Everything

    This one surprised me SO much when I read it last year – it’s just so delightful and inspiring. I was never anti-Liz Gilbert in any way, but I also never felt like reading Eat Pray Love for some reason. My delight with this one changed my mind – I’m going to read EPL soon! It’s turned me into a big Liz Gilbert fan, and I love following her on social. Her podcast that she did to support the launch of this one was so great too – I’m sad it was only 12 episodes!

  6. I wasn’t expecting to love this one, but I did. And I keyed so many quotes from it that I had to divide the work into two days. I probably just should have made a rule about rereading it every year instead!

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