When A Book Changes Your Creative World  #SundayBlogShare #writers #bigmagic

This book did things for me. At the time when I bought it I was lost in a sea of negativity and battling against waves of writer gloom.

The trouble is I don’t fully embrace my creative world that I adore so much. I spend a lot of my time:

  • Dampening down creative urges as I feel silly / weird.
  • Being concerned about what others think about me being a writer.
  • Being concerned about what others will think of me when I do eventually publish something.
  • Thinking that I need someone’s permission to write.

My fears are not about bad reviews or rejections. I think these come with the territory of being a writer so these don’t figure in my writer anxieties.

My writing fears are about the thoughts and opinions of those around me. They mostly stem from some odd and quite bizarre reactions to me being a writer. These are reactions from people who know me in my non-writing world. Given some of the strange reactions I have had, anyone would think I was committing a crime by sitting down at my laptop on an evening and heading off into fantasy land.

I have tried (really tried) to take up other hobbies and interests but I always come back to writing. There is something so magical about writing and I struggle to explain this to non-writers. It makes me feel so goofy happy.

So last week I read this book (after a recommendation by Helen from the ‘Journey to Ambeth’ blog) and it changed me.

My little creative world suddenly made sense. Elizabeth Gilbert seemed to understand how I felt about writing and she knew my fears. Reading it felt like I was listening to an amazing writer friend who understood me and wanted to help sort out my messy head. The author made me realise that I am not silly or nuts for wanting to pursue a creative dream. I am a writer and that’s something that will never change. Who cares what people around me think? Its something that I enjoy doing and if I don’t finish this darn book my blonde brain could very well go pop!

At one point whilst reading it I did have a little cry which caused some raised eyebrows from loved ones. Its such a release when you realise that there is someone out there who understands you.

Since reading the book I have been a happier writer….for a couple of days now (new record for me!).

It’s so good when a book makes you shriek ‘I am not nuts!’  I  am a very creative person!‘ – huzzah!  Loud sigh…

I am not going to explain the book in great detail as you need to read it for yourself. It may not work for you and bring on the tears but it’s well worth a read.

What I am going to do is list out some of my favourite Elizabeth Gilbert quotes from the book:

Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.

You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.

Don’t abandon your creativity the moment things stop being easy or rewarding – because that’s the moment when interesting begins.

If you love and want something enough – whatever it is – then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.

Take it easy writers!

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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

58 thoughts on “When A Book Changes Your Creative World  #SundayBlogShare #writers #bigmagic

  1. Thanks for this and I will be reading it too.
    Once I was asked by my sister to read a book (i was in a huge black cave and although the mouth was uncluttered and clear I couldn’t see a way out) but I didn’t believe a book could help. Two years later I remembered it, as it was plastered over the window of a book shop. That book gave me the strength and understanding to… get a life. Now in another life another time I believe in the power of a book.

  2. Wow! What a book and I’m so touched reading the effect it had upon you, it sounds amazing and something I’ll definitely want to read. There are not many books that make you feel as if you’re talking to your best friend and these are ones to treasure. I hope your days of being a happy writer will roll one into the other!

  3. Those are some wonderful quotes in a great blog.
    For a moment I shall shamelessly point you to something I wrote some time ago.
    http://wp.me/p47YTd-37 It’s more from a perspective of reading, though it can certainly illuminate why people answer the call to be writers.

  4. That book sounds like writers’ medicine. Must put that on my reading list. I know what you mean about non-writers’ reactions to we creative folks. They either look at one with slight pity, an embarrassed smile, an expression of “let’s indulge this person for a moment but she couldn’t possibly ever make it with her writing”, or a degree of jealousy because they live with someone who won’t allow them to follow their dream. When recently two people I know actually introduced me as a writer to some other people and then proceeded to sing the praises of my blog, I nearly fell through the floor with shock.
    I’m so glad that book made you feel better. Keep at it, girl, though the path be long and torturous at times. You have great talent 🙂

  5. So true! When I first started writing folks in my non-writing world would refer to it as a hobby. That comment always got my hackles up. I was busting my behind to make it in this business and people devalued my work as a hobby! They’re not doing that now. *evil grin* So, please, don’t let others ruin your passion, your creativity, your love of writing. Someday they’ll have an entirely different view of what you do, and then the sweet reward is yours.

  6. Oh, this is great, Lucy – I’m so pleased the book resonated with you. I haven’t even finished reading it yet and I’ve already had so many ‘wow’ moments. For me it was the bit where she writes that she could sit down and, page by page, tell you what was wrong with her book. But that instead, you just need to let it go – who cares if it isn’t perfect, if it’s what makes you happy. This is a big one for me – I’ve never had trouble being creative, but I do have a perfectionist streak which I need to let go of. Happy weekend to you! xx

  7. This is wonderful and I think it’s super courageous of you to come out and state this because it’s difficult for people to admit how they feel. What’s better is that you found a way to overcome it. ^.^

    I’m sure that every writer has had that time in their life where people thought they were odd, strange, perhaps even crazy because the non-writer in them didn’t understand the writer. Honestly, a lot of my non-writer friends /still/ don’t understand me when I talk about it and the process: how there’s a writing ‘zone’, and how characters just ‘take over’ your fingers and write what they want. Frankly, it does sound a little crazy. However, it’s not. It’s creative.

    Writers have the ability to think beyond themselves, beyond their small worlds and their own experiences even. They can see into people. They can create people. They create worlds and stories and lives. For most people that /is/ crazy, because most people can even understand their own lives. That doesn’t make us strange, it just makes us… broader minded. ^.^

    Don’t get me wrong. It’s difficult when people don’t understand what I’m trying to say to them and they just give up (mainly because I WANT someone to tell, someone who understands), but I don’t let it get me down. I simply remind myself that they aren’t writers. I also remind myself of the friends I have that /are/ writers and simply wander off and tell them. ^.^ They’ll get it. They understand me, and I understand you.

    If you ever need someone to talk to, or someone to listen, I’m here for you. ^.^ That’s what friends are for.

    1. Thx Melanie, great comment 🙂 I have to share stuff that makes a difference as I see it as giving something back / writing karma. Might take you up on a writing moan one day 🙂

  8. Sounds like a good book I need to read. I wasn’t fond of the Eat, Pray, Love movie but hadn’t read the book. I recently had one of those moments from a former co worker friend when I was telling her about my latest venture. I’m going to be the content coordinator for a local magazine and that includes writing the feature article every month. She left me feeling very unsure of myself. I keep telling myself it will be okay and that’s just the way she is with everything but still…

  9. This is what I need – this one “Don’t abandon your creativity the moment things stop being easy or rewarding – because that’s the moment when interesting begins.” Thank you for sharing this and the review.

      1. No worries, reading is always good! (Besides, I’m still waiting for the copies to arrive so I wouldn’t even be able to send them yet lol)

  10. Thanks for sharing. I think a lot of us writers could use a dose of this book at some point. I’m no different than most writers, living in a creative world when the real world that surrounds me has no clue what it means to be a writer. 🙂

  11. Ah! I missed this post! I am reading Big Magic right now and LOVE it. LOVE. Elizabeth Gilbert is awesome. The book is awesome. Everything is awesome! I’ve been seeing this all over the internet. It’s on so many people’s ‘favorite’ lists. Hubbie actually gave this book to me a few weeks ago. (Because he is incredible.) So, yes, I agree with you here. 😉

  12. This book keeps coming through my field of vision and I believe, from what you’ve said, that it needs to be added to my to-be-read list! Anything that can help empower us writers to keep doing what we are doing and push forward past rejection, long nights, and feelings that we’ll never reach our goals, is something that we should have handy. Great post!

    I recently wrote a post for the A to Z Challenge on R is for Rejection and how to handle it. If anyone is interested you can find it here: http://blog.jhwinter.com/a-to-z-challenge-r-is-for-rejection/

    Ink & Stitches – http://blog.jhwinter.com

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