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!