Having recently re-read ‘Big Magic’ by Elizabeth Gilbert, I’m reminded to take a more fun approach to my writing and creative life in general.
I’ve not read any of Ms Gilbert’s novels, but I have listened to her TED Talks and was drawn to get this particular book. It’s written in a light, breezy style, which makes for easy reading. I remember getting through it in a couple of days. For me, what makes this book special is her humorous personal anecdotes, some of which had me laughing out loud.
I read this book as a writer wanting to live a creative life. But one of the things I like about this book, even though she’s talking about creative living, she’s not only talking about a life “exclusively devoted to the arts… [W]hen I refer to ‘creative living’, I am speaking more broadly. I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”
So, while I made notes from the point of view of a writer, I realised there’s good stuff here for anyone, not just the artist. To that end, I thought it would be fun to share some of my notes.
“Its redundant to call someone ‘a creative person’ because we all are! Creativity is the hallmark of our species. If you’re alive, you’re a creative person…”
“You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.”
“A creative life is an amplified life… a bigger, happier, expanded life… a more interesting life.”
“You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”
“For most of history people just made things, and they didn’t make such a big deal out of it… We make things because we like making things… We pursue the interesting and the novel because we like the interesting and the novel. And inspiration works with us, it seems, because inspiration likes working with us.”
“We’re only here for a short while so… while you still have time… Live the most vividly decorated temporary life you can – physically, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. Don’t be afraid of bright colours, new sounds, big love, risky decisions, strange experiences, weird endeavours, sudden changes or even failure. Spend as much time as you can creating delightful things out of your existence, because that’s most likely what brings you awake and that’s what brings you alive.”
“Be committed to living a creative life… not to save the world, not as an act of protest, not to become famous, not to gain entrance to the canon, not to challenge the system, not to show the bastards, not to prove to family or anyone that you’re worthy… but simply because you like it.”
“Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.”
I’m about to publish my fourth book and, for the first time, I’m enjoying the process of formatting, creating the cover and previewing it umpteen times before I hit ‘publish’. I know I’m rubbish at marketing, but I hope someone, at least one person, will read it and enjoy it. Of course, it would be wonderful if more people read it and enjoy it, like dancing with everyone at a party. Not that it’s something I’d actually do! But if I end up dancing in the corner on my own, I realise that’s ok too.
What about you? What do you absolutely love to create, no matter what? A garden? Clothes? Cakes? Whatever it is, I hope you enjoy the process too.