Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (and a Book Giveaway!)

Big Magic

I’m an Elizabeth Gilbert fan. Anyone who goes to Italy to eat all the pasta she can while she learns Italian and meets men sounds pretty fun to me.

But the first third of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, didn’t speak to me like those scenes of the author gobbling pasta did. A mega-successful author’s tales of struggle often fall flat with this oft-rejected author. Happily, as I read on, the book’s charms took hold. Here are some of the lines that swooped me up:

As the saying goes, “Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.”

How many times do we defend our limitations? Send those excuses sailing far, far away.

The most evil thing about perfectionism, though, is that it disguises itself as virtue.


While it may seem lonely and horrific at first to imagine that you aren’t anyone else’s first order of business, there is also a great release to be found in this idea. You are free, because everyone is too busy fussing over themselves to worry all that much about you.

I sometimes go to a party where I don’t know many people and think everyone is watching me flounder as I decide where to sit or whom to talk to. Nope. Nobody is watching and nobody is worried what I decide to do. And so it is for most of life, luckily.

Be careful of your dignity, is what I’m saying. It is not always your friend.

Here’s to letting our dignity slide in 2016. See ya, Dig!

I believe that curiosity is the secret. Curiosity is the truth and the way of creative living.

My mom told me how pleased she was to be in her late eighties and still learning new things. Elizabeth Gilbert finds curiosity to the highest calling of the creative spirit. 

And since creativity is still the most effective way for me to access wonder, I choose it. 

Me too. What about you? What are your favorite ways to be creative? Any creativity goals for 2016?

Giveaway: To win a copy of Big Magic, enter a comment by January 20, 2016. Thanks!


Facebook: I’m enjoying Elizabeth Gilbert’s page. Follow it here.

New York Times: Here’s a review of the book, with a much more in-depth analysis than I’ve given you above.

More Quotes!

What is Creativity


Be Brave

Creative Person

38 thoughts on “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (and a Book Giveaway!)”

  1. I’m a big fan of hers(Elizabeth Gilbert) too!! Love to enter the giveaway!!
    Happy New Year Barbara and look forward to walking together thru “M” on 2016!!


  2. I love the line “the most evil thing about perfectionism is that it disguises itself as a virtue.”
    So true!! Thanks for recommending this book and for your helpful takeaways from it….

    I love your blog for its creative approach and honesty.


  3. No need to enter me, I have more books than I have time to read. But I loved the quote about “no one is looking at me.” It’s such an adolescent thing–to be worried what others are thinking. And it’s so NOT true. I have to actively combat that thinking. Sounds like a great book.


    1. Yes. They truly aren’t looking at us. BUT i just saw a post for a neighbor’s anniversary party and a woman was wearing the exact dress I would have worn if we’d been invited (it looked to be more old friends, etc. so no hurt feelings).


  4. Rule #1 of writing: Hook your readers in the first sentence. If you haven’t gotten them by the end of the first page, don’t count on their readership. Bottomline: Even if she has some nuggets in there, I won’t be struggling to find them.


  5. I would be interested in reading more of this author’s potential insights! So, please count me in on the book give-away. Sometimes individual perspectives do not always apply to everyone’s life, but I absolutely love reading how individual people have found success! Happy, Happy New Year, Barbara!


  6. I get creative with my blog and writing… I want to get back to knitting and cooking more, too! Sometimes, I need to be creative at work to come up with new ideas and to solve problems. Seems like a great book for a new year!


  7. the three most creative things I work with are writing, cooking and photography, I’ve been trying to work on being more creative in these fields by challenging myself by either writing more, trying new dishes and I’ve been starting to share my photos with people–usually I used to keep them to myself


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