Why You Should Read “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert More Than Once

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ve had a great week so far and are looking forward to the weekend. I’m here today to ramble to you about one of my favorite books. It’s called “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,” by Elizabeth Gilbert. I read this book for the first time in 2018 and it changed my life. It changed how I felt about being a creative person living in a world that doesn’t always understand creativity. While the book can apply to all different types of creativity fueled hobbies and habits, I mainly read it to support my dream of being/becoming a writer. I remember carrying it around with me at work and savoring each page on my lunch breaks. Over the course of 288 pages, Elizabeth Gilbert managed to comfort, support, and inspire me in a way I had never been before when it came to the topic of my life as a writer.

A little over a month ago, I found myself needing a reminder of the lessons she taught me then. Taking a break from writing to focus on grad school was a difficult decision for me. It definitely paid off, but the transition back to writing wasn’t as easy as I had hoped it would be. I found myself flooded by feelings of doubt and insecurity. What type of writer would/should I be? Should I stick to an old project or try something new? Would it all really matter in the end? It was clear that it was time to return to a text that provided many solutions the last time I found myself tangled in a web of doubt.

When we return to books that we love we are often reminded of the lessons they taught us, but we also experience new moments with the text as well. There were portions of “Big Magic” that resonated with me on a completely different level this time around. For example, she writes a chapter on “Taking Vows” with your writing. Not the type of vows that have deadlines, but the true commitment to being a writer. She writes,

“I simply vowed to the universe that I would write forever, regardless of the result. I promised that I would try to be brave about it, and grateful, and as uncomplaining as I could possibly be…I did not ask for any external rewards for my devotion; I just wanted to spend my life as near to writing as possible” (140).

This really sunk in for me. If you asked me ten years ago if I’d be a published author by now, I would have said, “I better be!” However, the reality is, life takes us in all different kinds of directions. We are always making progress towards something, but it isn’t always directly related to ALL of our dreams. In the last ten years, I’ve accomplished a lot of wonderful things. Have I gotten a book deal? No. Does that mean I never will? No. Should I give up on my dream of being a published author? No. At the end of the day, I’d much rather be a dreamer than a quitter.

I will always be dedicated to my writing in one way or another. I am so grateful to Elizabeth Gilbert for stepping into my life (once again) through “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,” to teach me new lessons. So, if you’re going to read it, read it more than once! Soak in that magic. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I turn to her for advice.

How about you? Do you have books that you’ve read more than once that continue to inspire you?

Let me know on Twitter or Instagram @AWritersWay.

Thanks for reading. I’ll be back on Friday, April 30th with more rambles and such.

-Christine

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