Big Magic Book Review
The past couple of weeks I've been setting my alarm an hour earlier than my usual wake-up time, to make coffee and read a book before getting into work. It's been feeding my soul in the best way.
I just finished Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and it is too good not to share a few bits and pieces. The excerpts below are a small handful of lines that really stuck with me. Probably there will be other parts that resonate more with you, so pick up a copy!
I believe that enjoying your work with all your heart is the only truly subversive position left to take as a creative person these days. It's such a gangster move, because hardly anybody ever dares to speak of creative enjoyment aloud, for fear of not being taken seriously as an artist.
If people enjoy what you've created, great. 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 attach 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.
Art is completely meaningless. It is, however, also deeply meaningful. The paradox that you need to comfortably inhabit, if you wish to live a contented creative life, goes something like this: "My creative expression must be the most important thing in the world to me (if I am to live artistically), and it also must not matter at all (if I am to live sanely). It matters./It doesn't matter. Build space in your head for this paradox. Build as much space as you can.
People don't do this kind of thing because they have all kinds of extra time and energy for it they do this kind of thing because their creativity matters to them enough that they are willing to make all kinds of extra sacrifices for it. Unless you came from landed gentry, that's what everyone does.
Remember that you're nothing but a beginner – even if you've been working on your craft for fifty years. We are all just beginners here, and we shall all die beginners.