I’ve been trying to figure out how to review Elizabeth Gilbert’s book. Developing a plan for a contrary opinion of Big Magic is like trying to figure out how to swim upstream against hordes of powerful whales and others going against me. The book has an 89% four/five-star approval on Amazon. The high praise of editorial reviews includes: #1 Globe best seller, the Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Harper’s Bazaar, Christian Science Monitor, New York Times, Associated Press, Yahoo, Seattle Times, USA Today, Vanity Fair, O Magazine, San Antonio Express News, and a few of my friends.
Ms. Gilbert is a ‘rock star’ author who has had big success (Eat, Pray, Love). I have no right, nor the credentials, to discredit her or her writing in any way. Nor do I want to. In fact, if you are a person whose creativity suffers due to your personal fear, this may be a good book for you. It is an easy read with no back matter such as extensive endnotes or research to distract you. The language is very simple and you’ll not need to look-up anything. She makes it all very clear and elementary, which I like.
If you are interested in marketing, check this out. This book is, in my opinion (and that of several others), a marvel of marketing – this baby was sold! Before I expose my dark side, I want to say a few more positive things about this book. For whatever reason, I’m glad that I read Big Magic and I may even read it again.
For a while, I thought that I would like to forget it and move on with my life. I tried, but Big Magic won’t let me. I finished it weeks ago. Now, it refuses to go away. Why? Well, Big Magic was recommended by fellow writers, friends, and (like Elizabeth) creative people. I’m certain that my friends and Elizabeth each have hundreds of ideas, inspirations, and creative moments to my one. I think that is fine. Big Magic notwithstanding, I can only do one thing at a time.
Originally, my only purpose in writing a review was to get Ms. Gilbert and her damn book out of my thoughts so that I can do whatever I want without thinking more about it. But this is personal. Like many others, I am interested in creativity and often wonder why I have an issue with mine. Books like this usually apply to the author’s life experiences and Gilbert’s is no exception.
Like many (or most) people, I’ve struggled with creativity in that ideas don’t seem to just come to me. But they do come. Sometimes I seem to have them. At other times, they are handed to me by other human beings. When I was still working at my 8-to-5 day-job, I liked what I call ‘idea men’ (women too, but in my world there were few females). These folks were very good at concocting thoughts of better ways or solutions to problems. Often, it was good stuff. It was their strength. I enjoyed setting things in motion to accomplish the good ideas of others.
In trying to figure out how to handle reviewing her book, I’ve decided not to. Instead, I plan to write several blogs on creativity and associated aspects of that human phenomenon, paying special attention to writing, my own issues, and my point of view. I also plan to add other books and input from others to the mix. If you have suggestions or input, please add your comment.
4 thoughts on “Creativity: Human Trait or Magic”
I’ve read both the books you mentioned, Eat, Pray, Love, and Big Magic. The first is a memoir of her struggle through a painful divorce- I could relate. Big Magic validates for some of we artsy types, that we’re not alone, not crazy lol – some of us do believe in magic and struggle with fear, anxiety and depression. As for her marketing strategy-I have one word – OPRAH. Gilbert’s book may not be for everyone, but it got you thinking and that’s a good thing. I’ll be interested to read your future posts on creativity!
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Big Magic is also a memoir. Most “self help” books like this have a basis in the life experiences of the author.
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I had some good advice last Friday. I took it. Thanks.