I was in the Marseille train station, waiting with my husband to catch our train to Paris. It was our first trip without our son Benoit, and leaving him that morning was hard to do. Now that we were at the train station, though, I was starting to feel excited and a bit, well, my own person again. I had a desire to start making things. And to read something. I realized I haven’t done something by myself in over a year.
We walked into the bookshop and I knew I wanted something in the field of creativity. And in the small English book section, I saw this book, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, right alongside the newest Harry Potter book. As an avid Potter fan I was torn between the two. But with Big Magic I figured I could at least finish it during the train ride, and besides-it was probably a sign that moments before I was thinking about creativity and then I run into this book that offers advice on the matter? I would always remember and know where to find the Harry Potter book, but who knows when I would come across this one again? So I chose Big Magic.
Big Magic discusses pushing past certain obstacles in order to live your most creative, inspired life. Obstacles such as fear, permission, perfectionism.
As for me, I fell in love with it. And it got my ass in gear. All of the excuses I’ve been giving myself for why I’m not doing something, anything-this book kicked to the curb. I won’t say too much, but here are some of my favorite quotes that were “aha” moments for me, and perhaps you may also find them helpful:
On drawing negative, destructive conclusions (rather than positive ones):
“People convince themselves they’ve been robbed when they have not, in fact, been robbed. Such thinking comes from a wretched allegiance to the notion of scarcity-from the belief that the world is a place of dearth, and that there will never be enough to go around.”
On taking your life into your own hands:
“I think it’s a mighty act of human love to remind somebody that they can accomplish things by themselves, and that the world does not automatically owe them any reward, and that they are not as weak and hobbled as they may believe.”
“Perfectionism stops people from completing their work, yes-but even worse, it often stops people from beginning their work. Perfectionists often decide in advance that the end product is never going to be satisfactory, so they don’t even bother trying to be creative in the first place.”