Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert

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Overview

The instant #1 NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller

"A must read for anyone hoping to live a creative life... I dare you not to be inspired to be brave, to be free, and to be curious.” —PopSugar

From the worldwide bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and City of Girls: the path to the vibrant, fulfilling life you’ve dreamed of
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Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration and empowerment from Elizabeth Gilbert’s books for years. Now this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers potent insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches, and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work,  embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Big Magic: 

The instant #1 New York Times Bestseller


Big Magic is a celebration of a creative life…Gilbert’s love of creativity is infectious, and there’s a lot of great advice in this sunny book…Gilbert doesn’t just call for aspiring artists to speak their truth, however daffy that may appear to others; she is showing them how.” —Washington Post

"In [Gilbert’s] first foray into full-on self-help [she] shares intimate glimpses into the life of a world-famous creative, complete with bouts of paralyzing fear and frustration, in an attempt to coax the rest of us into walking through the world just a little bit braver.”  —Elle

“The Eat, Pray, Love author demystifies the tricky business of creativity. We’re all ears.” —Cosmopolitan

“Elizabeth Gilbert is my new spirit animal… I have profoundly changed my approach to creating since I read this book." —Huffington Post

“Gilbert leads readers through breaking out of their own creative ruts, finding fulfillment, and facing fear while finding balance between our spiritual and pragmatic beings in her forth coming book. Yes, please.” —Bustle

Big Magic will resonate with writers and artists who find the process of producing work to be particularly painful…Through anecdotes about her creative failures and resourcefulness, as well as those other artists, Gilbert encourages readers to pursue a creative life ‘that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear." —Daily Beast

"Gilbert demystifies the creative process, examining the practices of great artists to shed light on finding inspiration in the every day.” —Harper’s Bazaar
 
“Part inspiration, part how-to, it offers up both a philosophy of creativity and advice for living a more creatively fulfilling life.”—Fast Company

Big Magic tackles the challenges of living the creative life…Reading it is a little like having a coach by your side, cheering on your efforts – whatever they are – candidly and selflessly.” –Christian Science Monitor

“Gilbert [writes] with sincerity and humility about the joy that creativity has given her... If you enjoyed Eat Pray Love, if you are drawn to self-help or inspirational books, or if you just like to bask in another person’s positive glow, you’ll love Big Magic.” –Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Big Magic wants to help its readers live creatively…[Gilbert believes] creativity is inside all of us, it should be expressed, and it is not selfish or crazy or foolish to do so – it is in fact the best way to live a satisfying life...[Big Magic] constitutes good advice…[in a voice that’s] charming, personable, self-aware, jokey, conversational….[and] that Gilbert does so well.” —New York Times Book Review

“A lucid and luminous inquiry into the relationship between human beings and the mysteries of the creative experience… What makes her book so immensely helpful is precisely its lived and living nature…wholly electrifying.” —Brainpickings
 
"Gilbert tackles heavy, sensitive subject matter but keeps it light, making what's essentially a self-help book feel like a good talk with a friend rather than a sermon." —Associated Press
 
“Transformative.” —Flavorwire

“Gilbert’s trademark warmth and enthusiasm abounds...wise...[and] pointed." —Boston Globe

“Part pat-on-the-back, part slap-in-the-face, [Big Magic is] a permission slip for readers to stop making excuses and get to work… a fresh and modern surprise that fans of her work will relish." —Wichita Eagle

“Funny. Insightful. Honest. Irreverent...But, of course, most of us have read Gilbert before and these qualities find their way into all of her works. The particular form of magic in Big Magic comes in a very unusual wrapping: hope and love...Big Magic read[s] like a devotional. Like a love letter to the earnest artist inside most of our hearts.” —Books and Whatnot

“Distinctly refreshing." —TED Ideas Blog

“Big Magic will leave you feeling inspired to be curious, brave, free, and, most of all, creative.” -Lauren Conrad

"Full of chatty advice, pep talks, amusing and inspiring stories...Gilbert’s idea of living creatively may incorporate touches of magic, but she’s practical in the extreme.” —Miami Herald

“In her signature conversational style, both sassy and serious, Gilbert invokes high- and low-brow cultural references and recommends we channel our inner trickster… [Her] manifesto is a book to read through quickly, and then start again to discover any big magic you may have missed.” – KMUW

"Big Magic ripples with Gilbert’s enthusiasm, choice metaphor, and humor." -LitHub

“Gilbert will completely change the way you think about the creative process.”—Indienext

“The writing here is so friendly and funny that Gilbert’s perspective on creative living goes down like lemonade in summer." —BookPage

“From the deeply self-aware, poetically gifted author of Eat, Pray, Love comes... the best nonfiction book I’ve read in years. For anyone who's ever struggled with feeling worthy to express themselves through art, or been discouraged by the absence of inspiration, I'm not being hyperbolic when I say this book might just change your life.” —Mind Body Green

“Inspirational… Big Magic provides a guidebook for anyone wanting to live a more creative life. You don’t have to be an artist to get value out of this book; it is for anyone who wants to live with more joy, love, happiness, and abundance in their world.”—YAHOO! SHOPPING

“Gilbert, author of the wildly successful memoir “Eat, Pray, Love” and a successful novelist (“The Signature of All Things”) offers her prescriptions for unlocking the creativity within.” —Seattle Times

“Whatever your artistic pursuit, you’ll nod in agreement as Elizabeth Gilbert reflects on the elusive, frustrating and sometimes comically strange process of creativity. Thoughtful and funny, Gilbert makes an excellent case for doing whatever it takes to unlock your inner artist and find more joy in life.” —Woman's Day

“What Gilbert’s offering her fans…[is] permission to be creative…[She] is interested in the importance of creativity for the individual’s soul…When you hear the people who want to create, and the gratitude they feel toward [her], you can’t help feeling that she’s healed them—that she has, in fact, become the kind of guru she once sought.” —The New Yorker, on the "Magic Lessons" podcast series
 
“The latest from Gilbert is all about you—that’s 268 pages of practical advice for tapping into your own creativity... Consider her your own personal life coach.”—Marie Claire
 
"A must read for anyone hoping to live a creative life... I dare you not to be inspired to be brave, to be free, and to be curious.” —PopSugar

“Elizabeth Gilbert is an exceptionally gifted author…and this book is remarkable…. It is so densely packed with pearls of wisdom that I read it once for pleasure, and then again to unpack and outline the text just like I used to do in college…A must-read for anyone on the creative spectrum, from those who don’t think there is a creative bone in their body to those who make a living from their artistic expression.” –Yakima Herald

“Reading Big Magic is the next best thing to hiring Elizabeth Gilbert [as your] coach.”—PARNASSUS BOOKS

“A joyful ride through the enigmatic jungle of creative existence… [Big Magic] is not just about the production of artistic works but about building a life that nurtures the creative being in all of us.”—CREATIV Magazine

"Big Magic [is ]… fearless of voice and heart-opening in authenticity; in short, a book worthy of its name." —Literary Inklings

“A conversational, intimate glimpse into Gilbert’s process and philosophy, as personable as a confab over coffee… essential reading for anyone who wants to live a larger life, filled with more ideas, more projects, and more fulfillment…Big Magic is powerful stuff.” –Barnes & Noble Blog

“A book-length meditation on inspiration.” —Newsday

“Whether you long to write the great American novel or you just want to be more present and mindful in your daily life, you can find plenty of inspiration in this self-help tome… … the can-do, optimistic tone makes for an uplifting read.” –All You Magazine

"[Gilbert will] make you feel giddy about creation." –Medium

"Gilbert mines her writer's career to provide unique, inspiring and constructive insights on how to navigate the wild ride that is the creative life... Her charming nuggets are wise, comforting and ultimately encouraging." –About.com

“Gilbert offers helpful suggestions for outwitting writer’s block and perfectionism...and lets a tart sense of humor emerge." -Columbus Dispatch

“Anyone living with some manifestation of writer’s block (or any other artistic variant of such affliction) will find [Gilbert's] sage advice is effectively a worthwhile kick in the butt… Without the smallest hint of narcissism, the mega-bestselling author shares the pinnacles and pitfalls of failure and success and how to wrangle the criticism, inside and out.”—Steamboat Pilot & Today

“Gilbert sweetly yet powerfully nudges readers to release fear, summon courage and allow the ‘strange jewels’ hidden within each of us to emerge and shine. The end result is the ‘big magic’… Engaging storytelling mixed with personal anecdotes and astute insights make Big Magic a rewarding, motivating and delightful read.” —Sucess Magazine

“There's nothing hippie-dippy about Gilbert's raw, honest, and downright hilarious observations of her own creative plight...This isn't a How-To guide for creative living; this is the story of how one woman simply figured things out for herself, and learned how to live in harmony with her own creative soul. All can find a kind of solemn peace and reassurance in her words.” -Everyday eBook

“A transformative nonfiction treatise on creativity…Filled with her signature humor, big-heartedness, wild vulnerability and wisdom, Gilbert delivers a vibrant and inspirational book.” -About Town Magazine

"A booster that will help you out of any rut.” -Kansas City Star

"The author of Eat Pray Love, who has already changed so many lives, now looks to change thinking on creativity." -The New York Daily News

“Worth a read for any artist struggling for some peace and quiet in a head bursting with creativity."
– Bustle, Included in “9 Books To Help You Find Inner Peace”

"Some might call Elizabeth Gilbert by the name Queen Midas … Everything she touches seems to turn to gold. A rare gift, this book acknowledges difficulty, but empowers its readers to transcend it in the name of the beautiful mysteries of existence.” —WNC Woman Magazine

“A magnificent guide to how to be creative…[and] a heartfelt gem… I simultaneously wanted to quickly turn the page to see what was next while savoring the advice on each page… Gilbert is determined to guide you into the light. Go with her.” —Jersey Journal

"Irresistible…If creativity is something you value highly—both in others and as fundamental to your own existence—you should find much to love in Big Magic, whether or not you typically gravitate toward creativity guides.” —Chapter 16

"A non-fiction tour-de force...pragmatic, rational, and wholly convincing." —Reader's Digest UK

“A treasure map to unleash your most creative and expressive life.” –Marie TV

Big Magic seeks to both inspire you and strip you of any excuse to not pursue your creative interests…[it’s] passionate, down-to-earth and bursting with Gilbert’s obvious love for the subject matter and her readers… a delight to read.” –Pop Mythology 

“An empathetic and inspiring guide to mustering the courage to live a creative life. … Nearly anyone who picks up this self-help manual should finish it feeling inspired, even if only to dream of a life without limits.” —Publisher's Weekly (starred review) 

"Gilbert serves as an enthusiastic coach for readers who want more out of life. Highly recommended." —Library Journal (starred review)

“Gilbert’s wise and motivating book of encouragement and advice will induce readers not only to follow specific artistic dreams but also to live life more creatively, fully, and contentedly.” – Booklist

"The sincerity, grace, and flashes of humor that characterize [Gilbert’s] writing and insights should appeal to a wider audience…warmly inspirational.” —Kirkus


 
 
 

Publishers Weekly

★ 06/15/2015
Gilbert (The Signature of All Things) offers an empathetic and inspiring guide to mustering the courage to live a creative life. That doesn’t necessarily mean a career in the arts, she’s quick to point out (“If you’re alive, you’re a creative person,” she states); instead, she proposes a life fueled by curiosity rather than fear. Gilbert, more than most, can understand how a big success can make one feel as if the follow-up must not disappoint, writing that “I can’t tell you how many people said to me during those years , ‘How are you ever going to top that?’ ” She notes that this kind of pressure can be an instant creativity killer and encourages readers to let go of perfectionism and embrace being good enough. This mind-set, in her experience, leads to the willingness to take chances, live life to the fullest, and act on risky ideas. Gilbert divides her book into six sections, each devoted to a quality she believes necessary for living without fear: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust, and divinity. In each section, Gilbert peppers sound advice with personal triumphs and failures. Nearly anyone who picks up this self-help manual should finish it feeling inspired, even if only to dream of a life without limits. Agent: Sarah Chalfant, Wylie Agency. (Sept.)

Library Journal

★ 07/01/2015
Gilbert, of Eat Pray Love fame, aims to encourage lives more strongly driven by curiosity than by fear. Having the courage to do that, says the author, will lead to an enchanted existence. Readers start the process by daily respecting their inclinations and creative instincts then running with them. Persistence and trust in oneself through failures are necessary challenges—the only way to find hidden internal treasure—that will result in discovering a divine spirit within. VERDICT Gilbert serves as an enthusiastic coach for readers who want more out of life. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 3/9/15.]

Kirkus Reviews

2015-05-26
The bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love reflects on what it means to pursue a creative life. At the beginning of her latest book, Gilbert (The Signature of All Things, 2013, etc.) writes that creativity is "the relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration." Then the author explains how individuals can live that relationship on a daily basis. First and foremost, she writes, people seeking to live creatively and pursue the things that bring them satisfaction must be prepared to live courageously. Only then can they "bring forth the treasures that are hidden within [them]." Gilbert also suggests that the ideas on which all creative acts are based do not come from a person: they are "disembodied, energetic life-form[s]" that seek human hosts who can make them real. This is part of what the author believes makes creativity itself a "force of enchantment—not entirely human in its origins." To actually manifest ideas requires what Gilbert sees as the ability to give oneself permission to engage in creative acts regardless of what anyone else may think. It also requires persistence and being able to stomach the many "shit sandwiche[s]" of disappointment and frustration that so often go along with creative endeavors. Having a burning passion for the work involved—the intensity of which Gilbert likens to a "hot…extramarital affair"—is also crucial. So is trusting in the creative process—no matter how eccentric and/or nonlinear it may seem—and in the idea that "the work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you." Not all readers will embrace the New-Age way in which Gilbert discusses the creative process, but the sincerity, grace, and flashes of humor that characterize her writing and insights should appeal to a wider audience. Not earth shattering but warmly inspirational.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594634727
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/27/2016
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 6,837
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

Read an Excerpt

Once upon a time, there was a man named Jack Gilbert, who was not related to me—unfortunately for me.
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Big Magic"
by .
Copyright © 2016 Elizabeth Gilbert.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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