Book Review: Big Magic – Creativity Explored

Big Magic is one of those books that every creative should read. Full of insight, ideas, encouragement—it’s worth keeping a copy on the writer’s desk next to the dictionary, style guide, and Strunk & White.

Gilbert’s take on a few topics was so fresh and true that I teared up. She put words around an elusive struggle of the creative process, and I found it comforting to have it articulated so beautifully. But don’t get me wrong: it’s not mamby-pamby, self-help slop. She has mined the travails of her own creative life and brought out some gems to share. Some are wrapped in kindness, others are tough love with a swift butt-kick thrown in for good measure. I didn’t resonate with everything, but the bits that got me, got me good.

I especially appreciated her thoughts about burdening one’s creativity with the job of earning a living. She’s big on not quitting your job. All in all, Big Magic is a keeper, and it’s probably a book I will give as a gift to aspiring creatives.

On a final note, I listened to the excellent audio version narrated by the author, but I would recommend instead buying a physical copy to allow for thumbing through in moments of creative confusion or artistic desperation.

View all of my Goodreads reviews.

2 responses to “Book Review: Big Magic – Creativity Explored”

  1. Loved this book. Interesting idea that the stories are out there floating around and if you don’t use them they will float off and find someone else to write them down.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Lucy McGinley and commented:
    I too have a paper copy of Big Magic and some pages are getting decidedly tatty!
    I love Elizabeth Gilbert’s idea that our planet it inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses, but also by ideas.
    Therefore, ideas spend eternity swirling around us, searching for available and willing partners.

    So I better get my ideas down before the stories give up on me and go and look for someone else to write them!


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