Elizabeth Gilbert ‘Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear’

A good-enough novel violently written now is better
than a perfect novel meticulously written never.
Elizabeth Gilbert

What is creativity?  ‘Relationships!’ – says Elizabeth Gilbert. And she is right! How good you are at the relationships? Lol 

I think if you are looking for the courage, a push in your butt or inspiration (especially after many rejection-letters) – this book is for you.

The book consists of 6 parts:


The most important thoughts:

  • We have to understand WHY we want to write, not HOW we want to write (for the JOY, peeps!)
  • ‘Driving force’ in life is the curiosity. Be curious and try! Do not fear!
  • Do you need a medal for your writing? Let me draw it for you! If no – just enJOY!

I loved the part of the book about the Fearof everything!

Meet some of them:
Fear to be too young or too old to write;
Fear of never succeeding; 
Fear to succeed; 
Fear to become fat (my mum always says to me: if you’ll write every day – you’ll become fat from all that sitting);
Fear of being misunderstood; 
Fear that someone else is writing better than you does; 
Fear that there’s no market for your writing, poems or stories; 
AND SO ON… the list is enormous!

Everything is fkn Fear! And what is Fear telling you? TO STOP!
Think about it! Think, how boring Fear is. Stop, Stop, STOP. Nothing more…

Face the Fear and pull out your creativity up to the Sun! This is the way to keep your fear under control -> continue to create!

“Every one who has taken a shower has had an IDEA.
It’s the person who gets out of the shower,
dries off and does something about it that makes a difference.”
Nolan Bushnell 

I’ve found very interesting the chapter where Elizabeth is telling the story about the book she never wrote, but she worked a lot on the idea and collected the material:
1) She promised to take couple of hours each day for the research;
2) She went to the bed early and woke up early to write;
3) She said NO to many meetings and hang-outs with friends;
4) She have ordered books about Brazil;
5) She started to learn Spanish;
6) She made a register and created the world.

But then… life hits: problems, family, government, love!
She never wrote that story!
So much preparation and work for nothing!

Then later (after 3 years or so) she met another writer and they had a conversation about the book-ideas. She suddenly understood that they both had very similar (TOO similar!) idea for the book, just some small details were different… How is it even possible?
It is possible. Because the idea won’t wait for you, won’t wait when you’ll wake up and start writing. The idea will fly away to someone else, who is willing to make something awesome from it! And Now!

The Idea says to you: Don’t have enough time?

One more lesson to learn: doesn’t matter if your idea isn’t new. There’s not so much new nowadays. Just write it down. It is YOUR story! As the teacher of the literature I have to agree. You can give the same theme to 30 kids in the class and you’ll get 30 totally different stories (plus in different styles/genres).

I loved also the mention about Ruth Stone (American poet), who compared the ideas with ‘Tiger’s Tail’. She said when she heard the move of the idea, she’d run to the house to write it down immediately. You have to catch it when you see/feel it – or it will be gone! This is how it works for me as well. So it really made me smile.

How to face the rejection letters?
There’s also funny story about Elizabeth’s attitude towards rejections, because she’ve got many of them (too many!). She describes the reality of the publishing business too.
Interested? Go grab it! 

At the end of the post I also have to mention Elizabeth’s mom who was very encouraging and taught her daughter: ‘GOOD ENOUGH is better than PERFECT!

She meant -> write your fkn story down!!!
BE done, ffs!
It will never be perfect!
People are tend to write and write and write…
And nothing ever done.
And then they get tired: fear eat them up.

Remember: the writing process is EVIL. So ask yourself one more time: is it what you want? To meet evil every day for the rest of your life?

Next post, Origami-Heart, short story. Part 1: The Good/


Victoria Ray NB View All →

Living in Sweden. Awesome. Happy. Writing. Ayurvedic food. Healthy lifestyle. Dogs. Literature. Drawing. Meditation/Yoga.

75 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I liked how Gilbert encouraged us to get beyond our fear of pursuing our creative loves. I love how she said that it doesn’t matter if it’s “been done before”, because it hasn’t been done by YOU. I love how she said to do it because you love it, not put these huge, unrealistic expectations on your art or creativity, because then you will NEVER do it. I love how she really is down on the tortured or martyr type artist mentality. A call to get over ourselves and work HARD enjoying what you love. Overall, a theme of not living by fear when it comes to expressing yourself creatively. We are ALL creative in some way shape or form, do it because it’s lovely and adds something to the world, art creation is not just for a few high and mighty in the world. It’s for all of us to enjoy!

  2. I also shared this on Twitter – just so you know, I had to physically changed the “@” from @wordpresscom to your Twitter handle; if you go to WordPress Admin -> Sharing -> Sharing Buttons, at the bottom, you can add you Twitter handle so it automatically does this!

  3. With this post, you have done a pretty good job of pushing me to order this one right away. Haha! I am really looking for such stuff these days that leave an impact and help us better ourselves each day. Great review! Thanks for sharing. And yes of course… Keep inspiring 🙂

    • 😸😂💜 great but I think if u r a non writer and barely a reader – you should read something else 🙂 the book is about writing mostly 👋😬

  4. I loved the first quote already! <3 I'll reblog it and link to here one day. True, so many fears and excuses. Still – there really IS (practically) no market for anything I'd be willing to write. 😀

      • Thanks. I guess it depends what “successful” mean to each person. Do you want to win the Eurovision Song Contest or make place 15 and have some – maybe 20 – really devoted fans? 😉

        No, I see that this was not a good example. :p Writing is not a competition. I wish we all make it. <3

        I just feel that I would have to compromise my integrity to make more people like my writing (and sell enough books in order to make a living by writing). I say this simply based on what crap sells today. But who says that this can't change?

      • Successful- ppl will enjoy ur reading 🙂

        Writing is not a competition, true…but it’s still fun 🙂

        I have to totally agree with ur last paragraph. But still would be fun to pick up ur book and read it 🙂 even e-book? ..what about this?
        Oh don’t tell me open the blog and read it. Blog is different thing to me :))

    • ❤️❤️ thanks for sharing, yep, me too.. I can’t believe now that I picked it at the store with the feeling ‘oh, it is a small book, quick read, nothing special’, 🙈 but it was a really good book, make one think 🙂

      • Mmmm, I read a lot of fiction too 🙂 i don’t know…I just pick anything I like what comes my way 🙂 I do not have plans and I seldom remember the names of the book, or the names of the authors 🤪 unless it’s really awesome writing
        Also it’s difficult to read similar kind of books all time. I love change 😂💓 right now I’m reading “Negroland” Margo Jefferson

  5. I see. I get the point of what is she saying here, but that is not me. If I run for publishers and search for agents out there, they won’t take my middle school writing and publish it just because of the story. I don’t want to be known as crappy writer. Not my cup of tea Commander, but this is motivational to the right extent. 😀 Thanks for showing me this. 😀

    • Yes of coz it should be a good enough writing otherwise nobody will be interested to check it. Gosh, I feel u’ll be the next J R R Tolkien. Don’t forget me then…😄👋😸
      Btw.. what is “crappy writer”? 🙂 the lack of style or the perfect hero or perfect gram? 🙂

      • Inconsistency in writing your plot and lack of execution on the idea that is in the novel. A crappy writer makes a novel and doesn’t give enough energy in making his/her work the best way it can be made. A crappy writer is a pompous bastard who thinks of himself like he is an elite of the society and defends the flop down of his work with stupidity.

        I want to be THE best I can be and so I am not wasting time on making a name of myself, but I gladly spend my time in perfecting my skills. That is a difference.

  6. Oh I loved this big so much. I read it twice, listened to the Audio twice. Last weekend I got to attend a workshop with Liz Gilbert in person (most awesome, I am still reeling from it). She had us do writing exercises based on those 6 chapters in her book. It was precious. Thanks for spreading the word on this book, I think the concepts are right-on for those of us living creative lives.

  7. Hear, hear! with loud shouts of yes me too!
    I am ‘Liking’ muchly, this book was also my ‘but’ butt inspiration.
    I have always wanted to write about the inspiration and encouragement I had found after reading this magical book!
    This is the perfect review!

    Are you sure you are not Elizabeth Gilbert in disguise?
    Thanks for visiting me today, I am always interested to know who clicks with my musings, so that I can follow, like minded-ly musers.

    Here’s to us all making even Bigger Magic Kabooms

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