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Book review: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

· Book Review,Creativity

I don't think I've ever read a book that so completely spoke to my creativity and process like Big Magic does. Written by Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote the iconic Eat Pay Love, it's a mix of practical advice and captured ethereal creative process.

As a writer, I have always struggled to describe that feeling you get when you feel simply like an open channel for words that are not quite your own. Those moments when you can't get them down quickly enough, and worry that they will get away from you and you won't get them back. It doesn't happen often but when it does you feel like you are experiencing something bigger than you and something vitally important. I now know other writers experience this too. It's in this book and that has changed things for me. This is not in my head (or its not only in my head anyway!)

But it's not all about relating to other creatives, or about being with or without the daemon, or any of the other magical, unexplainable experiences that Elizabeth touches on in these pages. It's also about folding into your creativity as a vocation, not as your career. It's about doing things because you have the urge to create or experience or play or because inspiration is visiting – not because they might be the next best thing or could maybe pay your mortgage. It's about persisting even though you feel like an imposter and about not feeling like an imposter. It's about killing the myth that you need to be in pain and struggling to be able to create your best work.

This book has put the joy and spark back into creating and writing for me. I wholeheartedly recommend it... but you have to be open-minded to a bit of magic to enjoy it. But then I feel like we should all be a bit more open to magic anyway. Don't you agree?

Have you read Big Magic? I'd love to hear your review in the comments!

Big Magic is available from most bookshops and from Amazon.

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