I finished the audible version of “Big magic” narrated by Elizabeth Gilbert herself.
I was very intrigued by the part where she talks about being brave when taking on the lifelong quest to be a writer. When she decided to be a writer as a teenager, she was determined that she will stick to this path no matter how hard it will be, it is almost like a monk, she did this because she was genuinely enjoying the process of writing.
When she decided to become a writer, she didn’t hope for the writing to provide enough income for her to live. She has to work on the side to be able to write. And in fact, she was still working as a waitress after 3 of her books got published.
The creativity is like having a secret lover for her, she would want to spend time with the lover no matter what, even if it is 5 minutes a day, she would be so eager to do that. So I reflect on whether anything is like this in my life. Writing is like this for me, many times I find myself with a blog that I am surprised with. In the beginning it is only some pieces of thoughts, but during the writing process, everything is put into place. And many times, I start with a not-so-happy mood, or a problem in my head, but as I write, I find my self-talk to be a coping method or a therapeutic process.
I have to confess, when I first know that people live off their blogs, or youtube, I was so surprised. I was like I can do that too. And a part of me wants this blog to become something big some time in the future. It is the same with Instagram, many times I saw the pictures with so many likes, I was like that oatmeal doesn’t even look that special and she posts that almost every other day. I was being bitter I know. But then it has to come back to why I even started the blog in the first place.
I want to connect with people. I want others to know about me. I want to get to know other people. And the fact that I always feel so good about creating something after writing a blog is quite enough for me. So as Elizabeth suggests in the book, take your creation process seriously, as much as you could when you are doing it, but after your thing is done, and it is put out to the world, you should just take it as light as possible. You can’t guarantee people’s reaction, they might like it, they might love it, they might hate it or despise it. So counting on people’s likes to be happy with your work is just a sure recipe for unhappy.
She also described a friend who in her 40s went back to figure skating, after she deep searched her soul what really made her happy. So the friend gets up 5 in the morning before work to skate with a bunch of kids, she does this because of the pure love for it.
For me, I was so keen on running, but it almost felt like a competition against others. It is like ego saying I am the one that can run streaks and the most miles in a month. But it is just poison for the soul. Many times it is the pressure rather than the pleasure that make me go for another mile. Nowadays, I discovered swimming and cycling, they are so much fun too. And I find myself less centered around how much more I can do than other friends. It is all to my pleasure, a balanced and healthy relation with myself. No competition involved. No ego allowed here. Just take it easy.
In the book, she also talks about creative ideas being some energy force that floats around to find someone to manifest itself. Once she conceived a novel, but due to other things happening in her life, she never finished it. Then she met another fellow writer friend, and the friend told her about the novel she was writing, and holly molly, the plot is just almost exactly the same with some minor detail differences. She concluded that the idea will struck you, then stay with you for a while to see if you are really serious about it. If you are not, then it will leave you and find someone else to hang out with.
And others have described creative process to be really magical. A poet says the poems are just like words sent from somewhere above, and when he was living on a farm, and sometimes the poem struck, she has to run so fast to the cottage to find a pen and paper to catch them before they got away. “Catching the poem” is almost like chasing the wind. I also remembered Rasha, the author of “Oneness” saying that she is just channeling what is told to her by the divine, and she is just typing it out.
I am not a creative person by any stretch of definition, and I have never thought of myself to be creative in any way, but this book just encourages me to find my creative side, enjoy myself and be joyful and playful with life.
“Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred.
What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all.
We toy alone, and we are accompanied by spirits.
We are terrified and we are brave.
Art is a crushing chore, and a wonderful privilege.
Only when we are at our most playful, can divinity finally get serious with us.
Make space for these paradox to be equally true inside your soul.
The treasures inside you are hoping that you will say yes.”
Sending all the love and peace.