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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (Book Review)

Title: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Ratings: 5/5

Gilbert gave me the most bizarre understanding about “ideas”. This is a nice way kind of bizarre though- sort of unique and no one has ever presented this to me before; I have uttered, “Yeah, this makes sense!”.

She described an “idea” as a living entity. If a person whom the idea visited, wouldn’t nourish, take care of it and fight for it – an idea can leave them behind and will go and find another individual, that is courageous enough to live with it and tell the world about it. Living beyond fear will make that person different from the others. This is the main reason why two or more people from the opposite parts of the world, can have the same idea. How many times have we heard about “stolen ideas” right?

“Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest.”

How many of us thought of something brilliant, but in just a snap, will all be forgotten? Usually, ideas visit us when you are not really thinking. When you are staring blankly somewhere, when your mind is calm and at peace. But why does it always slip your head? It usually does, when you don’t pay attention to it and wouldn’t mind recording it. When you are not ready to receive it and when you don’t bother to keep it.

The book gave a few personal experience about ideas and so with other people’s way of saving those “aha!” moments. Sometimes, ideas come to you in a dream when you take a nap during commute or when you are doing your daily routine. When nothing seem to be interesting that is happening to your life.

“Recognizing that people’s reactions don’t belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you’ve created, terrific. If people ignore what you’ve created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you’ve created, don’t sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.”

Another topic that stick, was the idea of a “shit sandwich” which entails to answer this questions, What are you willing to risk, to get your dream? What are the shit sandwich that you are willing to endure to get to where you belong?

This is a pretty strong premise part of the book. You’d think about the “flights” that you have had, the arguments you didn’t resolve and the shit sandwiches that unfortunately you are not willing to take before. It’ll make you think and say, “Maybe, this is not really what I wanted.” Thus, the flight instead of fighting for it.


I think you know you found a writer who resonates with your soul when by the time you are a few pages in you are thinking two things: One, I don’t want this book to end. And two, I want to read everything this person has ever written.

This book is about courage and facing a life that you really dream about.


“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”

“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”


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