Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert is a selp-help book that is uplifting and a pleasure to read. In it, the author of the enormously popular Eat Pray Love recognizes that many people don't fulfill their potential because of some form of fear. She believes that we can all be creative and make things. Her focus is creating artistic things, such as books, painting, music, and art. But her thoughts can be applied to anyone who has not taken the chance on something, or who has taken the chance, but it didn't go well, and now they are emotionally stuck and unable to move forward.
Gilbert offers thoughts that can make one feel down because they didn't take a chance, but she also offes hope that one can release the regrets and start again when she states, "Own your disappointment. Acknowledge it for what it is and move on. Chop up that failure and use it for bait to catch another project," in the Trust chapter.
While there are parts to her book that seem to apply a bit too much to simply making art, she always comes back to a broader picture. Her emphasis is on just keep going. The success of your creation is not based on what others think. It is based on the fact that you did it. Perseverance is key.
Big Magic doesn't have the satisfying feeling of journey and discovery that does Eat Pray Love, but it is still very readable and valuable if you are sufffering from regrets and indecision. Of course, there are some decisions where there is much more at risk that your bruised feelings. I don't think she is suggesting that one take a risk on a job offer during a pandemic that is only guaranteed for one year instead of staying with your current steady job. However, if you are attempting to complete a manuscript, then keep at it. Be courageous. Do it because that's when Big Magic can occur. Do it because you love it. Do it because bringing a project to completion is very satisfying.
And where there is magic once, there can be magic again.
Have a look at some of Gilbert's other books in our collection.