Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The instant number one New York Times best seller.
From the worldwide best-selling author of Eat Pray Love and City of Girls: The path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of.
People of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives.
Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
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|Listening Length||5 hours and 6 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||September 22, 2015|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #986 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#3 in Creativity & Genius
#3 in Creativity (Audible Books & Originals)
#8 in Popular Psychology Creativity & Genius
Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2020
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This was the message I (apparently) desperately needed to hear. I’m a stay-at-home mom with three young children. And when people ask me what I do, that is what I always tell them. But that isn’t what I want to tell them. What I want to tell them—what I want to shout from the rooftops, in fact—is that I’m a writer. Sure, barely anyone reads what I write, I’ve never been published, and it probably goes without saying that I’ve never been paid for a single sentence. In other words, no one really gets anything out of my work but me. But I love it, straight up. So I keep writing, regardless.
Yet it feels weird to declare yourself “A Something!” when that something doesn’t earn you money or status or likes or hits or retweets. Which means even though this side-passion feels so authentically “me,” I hide it so people won’t think I’m a loser, an imposter, a wannabe, an embarrassment, a failure…and the list goes on.
I guess this reality had been bumming me out more than I realized, because when I read the following words, they resonated with me in an unimaginably powerful and loving way--like I was receiving a cosmic hug:
“Shake yourself free of all your cumbersome ideas about what you require in order to become ‘creatively legitimate’… You do not need a permission slip from the principal’s office to live a creative life. Or if you do worry that you need a permission slip—THERE, I just gave it to you… Now go make something.”
In other words, Gilbert’s message is this: accept that you need to create. Accept that this is a part of you, that you are ALREADY “creatively legitimate.” And just do what you naturally feel compelled to do. Do it with joy—even when it gets difficult—and don’t worry about how it will be received (if it’s received at all). If you are called to be a maker, then you will just have to make. Own who you are, for better or worse.
So that’s what I’m doing from now on. I’m owning it. This is me stating my intent:
Hello, world. My name is Ladybug. I am a writer.
-it is not a dense, instructional, or academic primer about creativity.
-although Gilbert applies her thinking to all types of creativity, it's not really about anything but writing. Gilbert is a writer, and her examples are about writing. Although, someone who needs inspiration to pursue that creative hobby they've always loved may find some here.
-it's not high brow, and nothing Gilbert talks about is researched or proven. I guess that relates to the first point, which is that
This is a very *light* book. It's an encouraging book. And it's a book that contains, I think, some ideas you may not have heard before, or ideas we don't hear enough. Namely the idea that if you think about inspiration and writing ideas as independent spirits floating about in the ether, you need to do everything you can to attract them. Also that there's no reason to suffer for art, but there's every reason to enjoy it.
I don't really think Gilbert meant for her ideas to constitute a "religion of writing." But it's helpful to think about, in terms of your own positivity, dedication, and openness to creativity. Gilbert assures us that if we approach writing with joy, if we ignore all of the excuses we create not to write (I'm not good enough, I'm too old, I don't have an MFA, it will never pay, etc etc), and make space for creativity in our lives, that the writing will come, and it will be fulfilling.
I gave this book 4 stars because anytime I picked it up and read a few pages (I deliberately took more than a year to finish it), I was guaranteed to write afterward. So that's how I used it. Whenever I needed encouragement, I read a few pages. Whenever I was feeling overwhelmingly negative about writing, I read a few pages. Whenever I was convinced that I would never write a decent word, I read a few pages. In this way, I savored the book like Charlie savors his bar of chocolate for a whole month, nibbling at it in the dead of night when he needed it most.
In sum, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who is looking to study, or intellectually explore creativity. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to write. It worked for me. And I'll come back to it again whenever I'm feeling low about writing, because without fail, it made me want to write. And that's it.
Top reviews from other countries
It goes on and on about the blocks to creativity and basically the message so far seems to be : if you want to be creative just have a go! Sorry Amazon community, everyone else seems to love it, but I just want to be honest.
I think I get the message - ie. drop the fear and allow yourself to be as creative as you want to be. I understand why this is important to the author and can also understand why it is important to many people.
As a book though, I thought it was unnecessary to write. The message is very short and clear with not enough to fill a book without lots of repetition. I tried to find something substantial and practical that can be taken away to put into practice and there is very little of that.
I still love the author (in fact her latest novel is one of her current favourite recommendations) but this one was not a hit with me.
This book is all of life! Really. All big questions that have ever raised themselves in my head- most of them are answered in here in a very fun Liz-Gilbert-Only way. The book is not like EAT PRAY LOVE. But I don't think anyone other than Liz Gilbert can write it. It doesn't have any practical 1-2-3-4 step by step guidelines. But it is very much applicable in everyday life.
Read it if you are afraid of new things.
Please read it if you wish to do any creative-projects in life.
Please please read it if you are looking for a mystic creativity mentor.
Please please please read it if you are a suffering creative. (You don't have to suffer to be creative.)
All I know is that this book is going to be my long-term companion.
Ich gebe mir wirklich mühe, offen für neue Perspektiven zu sein, aber es war mir einfach unmöglich, manche ihrer Behauptungen ernst zu nehmen. Im übertragenen Sinn kann man manches zwar nachvollziehen, aber sie lehnt sich oft wirklich sehr weit aus dem Fenster. Es ist auch schwer zu erkennen, ob die Autorin manche ihrer Erklärungen zur Veranschaulichung "übertreibt", oder sie buchstäblich so glaubt.
Sie behauptet auch, es gäbe für multiple, gleichzeitige Entdeckungen von Ideen und Theorien keine Logische Erklärung. Dabei ist das doch ganz offensichtlich logisch. Um eine bestimmte, z.b. wissenschaftliche Entdeckung zu machen, muss es zu diesem Punkt bereits einen gewissen menschlichen Fortschritt, bzw. Wissensschatz im jeweiligen Gebiet geben, auf den man sich stützt. Klar, dass am Puls der Zeit immer "ähnliche" Dinge erforscht oder entdeckt werden; erst das Feuer, dann das Rad, dann die Quantenphysik. Da also viele Menschen mit sehr ähnlichen Einflüssen, Denkweisen, Geschmäckern und Wissensständen nach ähnlichen Dingen forschen, ist es absolut erklärbar, dass irgendwann vielleicht mehr als eine Person, gleichzeitig auf dasselbe Ergebnis kommen kann. Oder mehrere Leute sehr sehr ähnliche Idee haben. Auch wenn die Umstände zugegebenermaßen etwas willkürlich erscheinen können. Wir Menschen sind eben nicht immer so "originell", wie wir es gerne von uns denken.
Das ist zwar nur eine von vielen Kleinigkeiten, an denen ich mich vielleicht etwas zu sehr aufhalte, aber an diesem Punkt konnte ich einfach nicht mehr weiter lesen..
Für Leute, die solchen wagen Behauptungen gegenüber auch gerne skeptisch sind, kann ich z.B. Bücher wie "Outliers" von Malcom Gladwell, oder den Klassiker "Schnelles denken, langsames Denken" von Daniel Kahneman empfehlen. Diese Bücher haben zwar nicht viel mit Kreativität zu tun, aber erklären viele ähnliche Sachverhalte und bringen einen zurück in die Realität.
Andere Bücher über Umgang mit Kreativität, die ich als gut befunden hatte, wären "Unlocking Creativity" von Michael Beinhorn oder "Processing Creativity" von Jesse Cannon. Beide wurden von Musikproduzenten geschrieben, das sollte ich dazusagen.