Big Magic

I hesitated to buy Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic for some time. It was at the top of lots of “must read” lists since it came out in 2015. I didn’t think I would connect with it because I’m not a writer or creative. I don’t paint or draw. Writing these posts can at times feel like torture. I would probably stab myself if I tried to knit. I have famously made curtains without any thread or needles (thanks to the miracle of stitch witchery and my mother’s inspiration).

When asked about my hobbies, I fumble. Um...does passionately watching Cleveland sports count? I do love to read, and I am very good at precisely aligning objects on a desk or shelf (always group in 3’s), but I don’t think that's going to get me into the Olympics or get any recognition.

That’s why I didn’t think I would connect to Big Magic. I was wrong.

Creative big magic doesn’t just happen for those who make a living from their creativity. It’s for everyone that finds joy in doing something they love.

Do you love to spend time digging in the dirt? Take pride in your juicy tomatoes or the glorious colors from your flower bed for you are creative.

Can you make a delicious meal by combining ingredients with the instincts of a 5-star chef? Make me a plate because you are creative.

Can you capture a perfect moment from your phone that brings joy to all your Instagram followers? No fancy equipment necessary when you are creative.

You may work a 9 to 5 that is as inspiring as a matte gray wall, but there is so much more to your life. You are a singer (whether it’s in the church choir or alone on your daily commute), a dancer (keep moving no matter what your teenager says), or a designer (your Pinterest inspired home makes you smile every day). Whatever brings you joy, gets you going, and makes you curious to learn more or try something new is “creativity.”

I guess I just didn’t think that those things were creative enough. I foolishly believed that I wasn’t “a creative person” because I didn’t write novels or sculpt works of art from a slab of marble.

“You’ll never be able to create anything interesting out of your life if you don’t believe that you're entitled to at least try.”

Ah...fear. You seem to find me everywhere.

Fear crushes creativity if you let it. How many times have you stopped creating because you feared what other people would think? Or has perfectionism never allowed you to finish? In the book, Gilbert calls perfectionism “a high-end, haute couture version of fear.” And as a recovering perfectionist, I agree. For months and months, I started to write a blog post but never published because I couldn’t get it as perfect as others I read. I didn’t share my website because the graphics weren’t quite right and the font didn’t inspire me as I wanted. So I just stopped because I didn’t think it was good enough and would never be good enough.

I finally broke the curse of perfectionism because quite simply; I can’t help people if I don't put myself out there.

I took a big leap and pushed myself out there with a not perfect website and a not perfect blog. And now I’m helping women fight through their fears and take leaps to become who they want to be. That feels a thousand times better than a perfect font.

And the last thing you want to do is quit too soon. Gilbert talks about those that quit when things get uncomfortable or scary.

“They miss the good part, the wild part, the transformative part---the part when you push past the difficulty and enter into some raw new unexplored universe within yourself.”

Even those seemingly small creative pursuits can generate big transformations in yourself. Fears are broken. Doubts released. Parts of yourself, hidden for years, can have some fun.

Tell me...what creativity have you been hiding? Instead of binge-watching another season of Grey’s Anatomy (sorry sis), what creative pursuit would make your soul giddy? It doesn’t have to be big or anything you will share with others. This is for you and your soul. What tickles your curiosity? Follow it. Who knows where your new creative pursuit could lead.

Can't seem to shake the fear or self-doubt?​ Let's talk about it. Click here to schedule a free 30 minute call with me.

Leave a Reply