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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilberts 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 e...

Title : Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
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Number of Pages : 288 pages
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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Reviews

  • Yodamom

    DNF @ 61%

    I tried, for 61% I tried. I found a couple quotes from other people that I highlighted but that was it. I never highlighted anything the author wrote. I had to ask myself why am I reading a book where the authors advice is not connecting with me ? Why wasn't it working, several reasons. One was the qualifications of the author, two was the lack of any real actions.

    The author, I did not know who she was when I purchased this book, I had not read her Eat Pray Love novel, but had seen it o
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  • Rebecca

    With her new book, Gilbert sets herself up as a layman’s creativity guru much like Anne Lamott does with Bird by Bird or Stephen King with On Writing. This is based on Gilbert’s TED talks, and it reads very much like a self-help pep talk, with short chapters, lots of anecdotes, and buzz words to latch onto.

    Here’s a taste of some of Gilbert’s main ideas:

    • Forget about entitlement; “You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.”

    • Authenticity is better than originality; after all

    “Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us—albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.”


    She illustrates this hypothesis with a story about a book project she abandoned after Eat, Pray, Love. Her idea was for a novel about a woman who travels from Minnesota to Amazonian Brazil to join an entrepreneurial scheme and ends up falling for her boss. Wrapped up in her now-husband’s immigration saga and the writing of Committed, Gilbert left the idea alone for two years and it withered...only to turn up as Ann Patchett’s State of Wonder. Gilbert seems to literally believe that her idea migrated to her new friend. Hmm...

    At any rate, this is definitely inspirational stuff, if not exactly groundbreaking. “Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself.” ...more

  • Jennifer

    When I heard Elizabeth Gilbert had a new book out, I had no intention of reading it. Back in the day, I read "Eat, Pray, Love" and had some big issues with it. I haven't read any of Gilbert's work since. Yet, I kept seeing this book *everywhere*. It was like the Sirens composed a new song about this book at kept singing about it trying to lure me in. I caved. Or, maybe you could say that the Big Magic found me.

    Instead of representing a voice I wanted to spar with (as in "Eat, Pray, Love") the G
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  • Cole

    I underlined something on nearly every page, and my margin notes look like this:

    YES YES YES YES YES YES.

    I haven't loved everything Gilbert has ever written, but this is one of those books that came into my life at the perfect moment. I say this often (usually about every book I read and enjoy), but I want everyone I love to read this book.

  • VictoriaNickers

    Basically all the good advise you have ever heard on becoming a productive creative person all in one book. A creative living guide to life by following your happiness. This is definitely a self-help book. It was written for perfectionists and anxiety driven people (like me) and a reality check for everyone else on how to accomplish anything and everything in life. Yes, there is no earth shattering advise in this book. It is mostly common sense. It is about letting go of the excuses and moving ...more

  • Chris Blocker



    Is it mere coincidence that BIG is synonymous with FAT and that MAGIC is one of those oblique words difficult to put your finger on, like CHANCE? Because I think that's a better title for this book: Fat Chance. That's the message here: you're gonna fail, you big loser! Where's the big magic in that?

    I get it, some artists are confused about the outcomes or reasons for pursuing creative ventures. It's true, most of us are going to fail and fail again. Many of us will eventually give up trying. Gil
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  • da AL

    This & 'The Signature of All Things' are my fave Gilbert books. As the audiobook reader in addition to writer, she does an incredible job of sounding polished, relaxed, & truly encouraging. Read or listen to the end for the 2 best of all her great annecdotes.

  • Nat

    “I don’t know what I think until I write about it.”― Joan Didion

    I was in need of a Nonfiction read to compel me from the start when I came upon Big Magic. Elizabeth Gilbert starts off this very book by writing about a reclusive poet she’s passionate about (“I loved him dearly from a respectful distance”), and I became swept up in the accessible, talkative writing tone. It's the classic case of 'I should’ve been bored me but instead, I was fascinated.' The author has an eye for telling stories an
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