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Review – Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Big Magic book cover

“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.”


It is so easy to love this book. It connects all the dots of my inner world, and I adore how the law of attraction and manifestation never leaves me in doubt. I have no doubt that Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, wrote this book for herself, and hence why the joys and challenges she faces feel all so relatable to many of us. If you’re currently involved in creative work, or your life is currently 100 percent consumption and 0 percent creation, this book is for you.


The book is divided into six chapters, and I believe the most crucial chapter was “Permission.” Even great artists like Gilbert, who has had big success in her work, has struggled working on the next project due to the fear of not being able to top the previous one. And for those people who believe that some are just born with creative genes and those are the ones who should create the art, you are wrong. Here’s why:


I have a friend, an aspiring musician, whose sister said quite reasonably to her one day, “What happens if you pursue your passion forever, but success never comes? How will you feel then, having wasted your entire life for nothing?”


My friend, with equal reason, replied, “If you can’t see what I’m already getting out of this, then I’ll never be able to explain it to you.” When it’s for love, you will always do it anyhow.


As Gilbert said: “Your soul has been waiting for you to wake up to your own existence for years. Do whatever brings you to life. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” And just to be clear, whatever you create doesn’t have to be important, it doesn’t have to save the world, and it doesn’t have to be a success.


The biggest takeaway for me is to never let the responsibility of having to pay for my life burden my creativity. I’ve fallen into the trap of believing that you’re not a legitimate creator unless you can live exclusively off your creativity. The truth is we are all creators. If you can live off your inspiration forever, that’s great, but I never want to stop creating due to financial demands. Gilbert kept her 9-5 job even after she published three books, just to be able to create without pressure.


So, write that book, produce that music, direct that movie, start that business; whatever it is, start creating it. Start somewhere, preferably now. The earth has lived a few billion years and we are just a mere part of its history. Our life here is short, beautiful, and magical, and I want to create more things while I’m still here. I know it’s hard to begin, knowing that creative work has already been made. But I realize now that everyone sparks in their own way and that the work wants to be done by you, your version. Fear will always be triggered by creativity because creativity asks you to enter into the realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome. But what’s scarier is not being able to experience a creative living. That’s why I’ve committed myself to bringing forth all the hidden jewels inside me, and to start creating my big, juicy life.