Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert is a non-fiction book that has a variety of advice about what it means to be stuck in a life where you think that any of your creative inclinations will stop you from enjoying a happy life. My favorite part of the book is when Gilbert mentions that it’s ok to not suffer for the sake of art. She makes the point that creativity wants to be born but trying to force it is useless. She has a very funny point of view which makes the reader connect to what she’s saying in a more personal way. She doesn’t really care what you think about what she says but she wants to say it anyway because what if it does end up helping you. I feel like that is the opposite of what a lot of people do when they write books that are meant as advice. I appreciate that about her as an author.
My absolute favorite piece of advice that she gives is this:
“All you need to do is follow your passion, and everything will be fine.” I think this can be an unhelpful and even cruel suggestion at times…But a lot of people don’t know exactly what their passion is, or they may have multiple passions, or they may be going through a midlife change of passion — all of which can leave them feeling confused and blocked and insecure. If you don’t have a clear passion and somebody blithely tells you to go follow your passion, I think you have the right to give that person the middle finger.
I’ve always been stressed out about people telling me to follow my passion and it has always led to a lot of insecurities in which I still wrestle with.