I was in need of some inspiration this week, so when Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear showed up in my library’s list of  available audio books, I checked it out immediately. At about five hours in length, this book is a quick listen. The audio book is narrated by Gilbert herself, and she makes you feel like you just came over for an afternoon chat on your favorite subject: creativity. Gilbert talks about her joyful, brave and life-affirming approach to creativity with great clarity and humor.

“Possessing a creative mind, after all, is something like having a border collie for a pet: It needs to work, or else it will cause you an outrageous amount of trouble. Give your mind a job to do, or else it will find a job to do, and you might not like the job it invents (eating the couch, digging a hole through the living room floor, biting the mailman, etc.). It has taken me years to learn this, but it does seem to be the case that if I am not actively creating something, then I am probably actively destroying something (myself, a relationship, or my own peace of mind).”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

This wasn’t my first pass with this book. It’s a great one to re-read, because each time I do, I find something different, and the book feels new again. This time, I was taken with Gilbert’s concept of what ideas are and how they work. She thinks of ideas as entities that exist in the world. They are looking for human collaborators to bring them into actual form.

“Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness. And they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

What a wonderful dose of magic this is. After all, I don’t expect ideas are susceptible to coronavirus. The thought that ideas are still out there, searching for collaborators, even while we humans are limiting our contact with each other, brings me a smile.

So if you’re looking for some inspiration today, you might check out Big Magic.


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