I cannot even begin to write a book critique, but I would like to share a little insight into a quick and motivating read, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I just love her. Her honesty, wittiness, humbleness, wisdom, and positivity is something I was drawn to in her book Eat, Love, Pray. Now, in her most recent book, she speaks about her creativity and the creativity we all have inside of us- our “magic”.
In this personal book, she really encourages and believes all of us are capable of sharing our creative self. Not just in writing, but also by cooking, sculpting, dancing, sports, exercise, crafting, music, or whatever your outlet may be, we can all express our creativity if we aren’t critical of ourselves and take the time to be creative even if we don’t make a living doing it. We all have a spark; it just needs to be lit and we don’t need to wait or ask permission to do it. It doesn’t have to perfect, or even please anyone but ourselves.
It’s so relatable when she talks about never writing for other people. In fact, she explains that writers shouldn’t write to make a hit. Writers shouldn’t write for others. When she wrote her big hit Eat, Love, Pray, she wrote it for herself as part of her process. And, by writing from the heart, you’ll touch some people but not all. You’ll offend some. You’ll encourage some too. When your art is real and from the heart, some will find it beautiful, or maybe fun, or just cool enough to read, eat, or look at!
When I started this blog, it was for me. It is for me. I have journaled on and off since I was a kid, and always loved reflecting and learning about how others grow. And in my blog posts now, I share some sort of lesson I learned. It’s part part of my growing up process! It may or (maybe more often) may not be relatable to you. I love when it is and I get some feedback from someone else I respect. But, even if I don’t, it’s good enough for me.
In her reflective book, I am inspired knowing this successful author doesn’t have a degree in writing. It’s so cool that she never expected Eat, Love, Pray to be some big hit. And, I loved reading about all her submission rejection letters as I also have a dream of publishing a book (and have only received rejection emails, letters, or usually nothing at all!). Timing is everything and maybe the world hasn’t been ready for my stories yet!
But, even if I never get published and just have this little blog that I think about every so often, I have shared my stories with my kids and their approval is the most important to me. I have showed my kids that it’s great to have dreams. Every couple months, I have (what I think) is a great idea or invention that I enthusiastically tell my kids about. They are always on board and as excited as I. Can’t share my latest idea but Brody is excited because I will need to build a factory! It’s always good to dream….
So, what I have done and will continue to do is dream. My mom gave my a fridge magnet that says:
Don’t quit YOUR daydream.
Maybe my dream will be realized one day. Maybe not. Maybe it already is! But, either way, I know I’m showing my children that it’s fun to dream. Even if no one else believes it’s as cool as I do, I have fun in that space or that period of time when I believe I’ve come up with something great.
We all have that in us, some sort of creative energy or even talent if we are lucky enough. But reading from Gilbert, it doesn’t matter. Even a successful author like her has doubts, experiences failures, and continues to dedicate herself to her ‘magic’ despite.
So, I am going to take the advice I would give my own children. Don’t quit just because you’re not good at something at first. If you enjoy doing it (and it doesn’t hurt others or yourself), keep doing it. And, if you think it’s good or even just like it, be proud. Like the little sign I have hanging on my room’s door at school states:
Whatever your magic is, just do it!