Big Magic is a non-fiction book that discusses what it is to live a creative life and how important this is. This book is incredibly accessible and can be read by anyone, no matter whether you view yourself as a creative person or not. While being fairly short, I found this book to pack quite a punch, and thought the subject matter certainly worthwhile, and it did succeed in inspiring me to pursue a more creative life!
Because this book focuses on creativity it may be assumed that the target audience of the book is people who work in, or if not this then dedicate a lot of time to, creative fields such as artists, musicians or authors. However, this is incorrect: this book is written for everyone. Elizabeth Gilbert certainly has a unique and fresh take on what creativity is; she describes living a creative life as living a life that the individual loves and filling it with things that brings them joy and helps them flourish as a person. Throughout this book she encourages everyone to live as creative a life as possible, pushing through fear to do whatever it is that is creative to them, whether this be writing a novel or something as seemingly small as learning to ice skate. I found this idea to be particular refreshing and uplifting, really liking the idea that everyone can live creative live in their own ways.
In her discussion of how we can all lead creative lives, Elizabeth Gilbert discusses more specific notions such as inspiration, curiosity and persistence, which are all important aspects of the creative process. I really enjoyed hearing her break down these ideas and found her thoughts on them to be incredibly interesting, and she is also wonderfully encouraging and motivating while explaining each part, especially the more challenging parts. I did not necessarily agree with everything she had to say, however, particularly regarding where creativity and inspiration in particular comes from – the author has a much more spiritual view than myself. Nevertheless, this did not hinder my reading experience too much; you do not have to agree with all her views to take away from this book its most important lesson, that creativity is infinitely valuable and rewarding.
This book is also infused with more personal experiences from Elizabeth Gilbert, and she is happy to share many of her struggles she has encountered with regard to her creativity, as well as her triumphs. I enjoyed that her own voice came through in the book, and while reading I could really tell that creativity mattered hugely to her in her life, and also by placing such importance on it and dedicating a lot of time to her, it was evident that her quality of life and benefited hugely. I found the book to be quite motivating in this regard, whilst I was reading: it really did spur me on to dedicate more of my time in my own life to creative pursuits.
Overall, I really did find this book inspiring. I did not care for some moments in the book, however I do not think they were necessary for what the book was primarily trying to say. I think this a really great book for anyone to read to encourage you to live your best and most fulfilling life, in whatever way this may be, and this is certainly what I am taking away most from it.