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.