What We Are Reading Today: ‘The War of Art’

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Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Ever wished you could write that novel, paint that masterpiece, or finally start that dream business, only to find that fear stops you from doing it? Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” could be your antidote. This inspiring book is a playful guide that dismantles the myths surrounding creativity.

At its core, the book is about creating a fulfilling, creative lifestyle for yourself, but it eschews the typical spiritual advice and guidelines for creative living. “Big Magic” encourages you to embrace the joy of creation, even if it is messy or imperfect.

Gilbert writes about “enchantment.” What do you love doing so much that the mention or sight of it charms and inspires you? And why does that enchantment fade sometimes? And how does one nourish it?

Gilbert is on a mission to unleash the creative thinker in us by convincing the readers that each one of us has hidden treasures burrowed inside, waiting to see the light of day. Drawing instances from her own life, she encourages people to do all kinds of simple, small things, but to do them “specially.” This, she says, is the first step in living a life driven by creativity.

The book is a result of Gilbert’s quest for self-discovery as a creative individual. It is not a self-help book — she assures us of this very early on — and she does an admirable job of being motivational without being preachy.

She discusses how fear is a natural part of the creative process — one you must recognize and manage so that it doesn’t stifle your dreams. “Big Magic” advises the reader to cultivate a curious mind open to everyday wonders, because inspiration can strike anywhere.

“Big Magic” is your permission slip to embrace your creative side. It is a call to action to live a life infused with passion and purpose — and a little mess along the way.



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