Courage. Enchantment. Permission. Persistence. Trust. Divinity.
The six components of creativity according to Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic.
Big Magic is one of those books you read, and it changes or affirms your perspective on everything. Gilbert has a unique approach to creativity and inspiration that I think most people can benefit from reading. Rather than viewing creativity as this painful, elusive entity, Gilbert thinks of it as a gift that flits in and out of your life only if you let it.
I’ve always struggled with calling myself a creative person, and the way Gilbert approaches the topic makes it possible for anyone to live creatively as long as they give themselves permission and trust to live that life. I love that message. I think it’s so important to approach creativity with a growth and abundance mindset — I am allowed to fluctuate in my creativity as long as I never let it go, and there is enough creativity out there for me.
One of the most important concepts Gilbert explores is the concept of living in a state of constant curiosity and following those questions rather than being held back by fear. Gilbert tells a story about how one of her works came about because she decided to start a garden and she was sucked into the research of indigenous plants and the best plants for certain types of soil and such. She let this natural curiosity lead her down a rabbit hole that turned into a book. She wasn’t planning to write a book about botany, it kind of just happened because she let her curiosity be her guide.
Let curiosity be your guide.
One final concept I want to touch on, though there are so many, is the concept of permission that Gilbert delves into. Gilbert affirms that if you are pursuing a life of creativity, you have to give yourself permission to live that life. You can’t compare yourself to this person or that person and live a fulfilling, creative life. You’ll always be stuck in the comparison trap. Instead, you must give yourself permission to take up space and create in your own special way.
“Well, yes, it probably has already been done. Most things have already been done – but they haven’t been one by you.”
To fully embrace a creative life, Gilbert argues you must have the courage to pursue it, the wistfulness to let it enchant you, the willingness to give yourself to permission to follow it, the persistence to keep at it, the trust that it will always come back, and the belief that creativity is divine.
If you have all that, you can live as creative a life as you want.
If you’re a creative or want to be a creative, there is no better book to pick up than Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. It will remind you why you started and encourage you to keep going. If you’re like me, you can add it to your TBR list every year on January 1 to kick-off the new year strong.