CREATIVE LIVING BEYOND FEAR: TAKEAWAYS FROM ELIZABETH GILBERT'S BIG MAGIC

A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.

Big Magic is a great book for anyone hoping to live or is already living a creative life. It is especially beneficial for those who are letting fear hold them back from creating and for those who are struggling with their creativity. It was inspirational to read the various personal and honest insights Elizabeth Gilbert offers on her own life and creative path. I am not going to summarize the book for you but I would like to share a few big takeaways I got from the book:

FEAR IS BORING

So many of us don't do what we really want because of fear. Whether it's an anticipation of failure or criticism, it stops us from even starting. I struggled with this fear when I first started making pottery. I felt that I had no business being creative because I am a scientist. You're probably wondering, what does one have to do with the other? Well, it doesn't have anything to do with each other but fear works in mysterious ways and it had a hold on me. It took a while but I finally did work up the courage to let that fear go. I love what Elizabeth says about fear, "It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back." So acknowledge the fear but don't let it make the decisions for you.

AUTHENTICITY OVER ORIGINALITY

"the older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days, I'm far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance which never fails to stir me." 

This is a great message for people who are starting out and a wonderful reminder for those who are already creating. Honestly, everything has been done before but don't let that stop you from creating.  Make the work you want to make: sure, everything might have been done before but it hasn't been done by you

PERFECTION IS UNACHIEVABLE AND DONE IS BETTER THAN GOOD

I used to call myself a perfectionist but that was my way of masking my fear. This fear prevents us from making or even starting on the things we want to do. Furthermore, it stops us from putting that work into the world, because it isn’t quite right yet. At some point, you just have to finish and ship your work. If you keep trying to chase "perfection," you'll never be ready. Everything doesn't have to be perfect. Embrace the imperfection because Done is better than good. 

ALWAYS KEEP CREATING

This was the most significant lesson I learned from Big Magic. It was a reminder to keep creating...even when I wasn't feeling inspired or motivated. Creating is a long and arduous path. It's not going to be all rainbows and sunshine. When I first started, I thought owning my own pottery business was going to be so much fun. It IS. But there are many other aspects of owning a creative business that I didn't anticipate-the bookkeeping, emails, deadlines, and mass production schedule. It was exhausting and it drained my energy. I didn't feel like making pottery anymore. This book came at the perfect time because when I finished reading it, I pushed myself to get back on the wheel. I told myself, just throw. Make anything. And in that moment, the spark was back. So just keep creating when the going gets tough. Keep creating EVERY day. Inspiration will come.