Book Review: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert


Recently, the wonderfully inspiring author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things published a new book for aspiring writers.  Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear.  Big Magic is her first self-help book and as is as witty and humorous as Eat, Pray, Love.  I took it with me on my solo trip to the Isle of Eigg and it was the perfect book to bring for those long rainy days when I couldn’t get out but needed some inspiration and motivation to write.  I haven’t read other books about writing but I am sure after reading this that this is in a class of its own. When I first started reading it I thought that I probably wasn’t going t get much out of it but I was still loving EG’s style.  She writes like she is speaking to a friend in the room.  Big Magic is written openly and honestly and so therefore rather courageously I thought.  One of the things which impacted me was the way she expressed the magical things that sometimes happen when one if writing.  Perhaps some will scoff when they read about her theory that inspiration is floating around looking for creative people to birth these ideas or perhaps some will think, it’s a good enough explanation as any.  Elizabeth Gilbert offers quite a lot of sage advice as well as some wonderful personal anecdotes.  I was totally wrong when I thought I would get nothing from it but an enjoyable read.  This book is extremely encouraging and so much fun to read.  At times she had me chuckling to myself and even laughing out loud.  I was so inspired to write for the pure joy of writing that I ended up having an encounter of my own with ‘big magic’.  I wrote (or perhaps channeled) a short story of over 5000 words without hardly a pause except it was getting late and I was fighting sleep to keep going.  It was an exhilarating experience which I won’t forget.  I am not saying that if you read Ms. Gilbert’s book, you will also have a magical experience.  Read the book because it is an enjoyable book or because you have lost that spark you use to have and need some igniting.

8 thoughts on “Book Review: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

  1. Thanks for reminding me about Elizabeth Gilbert, a friend was reading Eat Pray Love and left it in my house. I like this: ‘inspiration is floating around looking for creative people to birth these ideas.’ It’s what happens with me sometimes, plucking ideas out of the air, no planning just focussed on the project and there, they arrive out of nowhere…


    • Yes! I have had this happen to me in different ways. When I wrote the story on Eigg the idea a was my own but how it started and where it got to just came out in a rush. I remember thinking to myself, ‘Hey, this isn’t where I want it to go’ but then decided to trust what was happening.


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