Harnessing Creativity & Being Grateful When It's Around

Book Review: Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

by Kara Duffy

Listening this to this book changed my view forever on creativity and genius.

It took me a while to get into audio books as I love the process of reading. I’m a nerd. When i read I have flags, a pen or pencil, and sometimes a notebook. Reading to me isn’t passive it’s fully engaged learning and taking notes for future reference. Even non-fiction gets notes and flags for those great life quotes and funny moments I want to remember. I try my best to keep the notes on the flags and not in the margins so to not spoil the book for a future reader. There are just some that I can’t help myself. I still haven’t figured out how to take the same notes when I’m listening to an audio book. If you know how, please let me in the comments! You’ll be my hero.

I dove into the audiobook world when I started commuting from Orange County to LA, a 1.5 to 2 hour one way trip, for a new job. I knew I enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing and was relieved to discover while listening to Big Magic that she has a voice for audiobooks. Nothing is worse than a great book where the narrator’s voice is just not working.

From the start I knew this was going to be a good book. So many of the philosophies that Powerful Ladies is built upon started showing up in new formation. “Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden with in you,” she asks in the first section, Courage. Similarly, “you can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures,” is another favorite of mine.

The book is separated into six sections: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust & Divinity. We could equally divide up some of the topics within the Powerful Ladies website into these buckets. I love that the path to finding and embracing your creativity is the same path to embrace your power. First, go looking for it. Second, allow yourself to be surprised & impressed by it. Third, give yourself permission to use it. Fourth, and still she persisted. Fifth, trust yourself and your intuition. Sixth, let in, surrender to, and embrace the Universe, God, Holy Spirit, whatever you call the energy that is bigger than yourself and loves you.

My favorite part of this book is when she talks about creativity or genius as the Greeks did - as a third party entity or spirit that comes to visit. The humility of recognizing ourself as separate from the attributes we so often claim for our own self-worth or definition is equally liberating and scary. Who are you if you are not creative, but creative is something separate from yourself? On the flip side, it’s fun to think of creativity as a visitor that stops by, offers you a great idea to collaborate with him on and if you’re not interested he’ll pop over to the next house. For me, thinking of creativity that way makes me so much more appreciative of the strokes of genius in my life and the opportunities to create something I love. Thank you Creativity for stopping by to play sometimes and thank you for sharing what can be the creative pressure!

Reasons to buy this book:

1) You’re ready for a fresh way to look at life & creativity & the magic that happens

2) You love Elizabeth Gilbert

3) You feel creatively stuck or that you’ve never been creative

4) You ready for ways to make some big moves and big magic of your own

For Paperback:

For Audiobook: