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Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Audio Download – Unabridged

4.6 out of 5 stars 218 customer reviews

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Big Magic is a charming, inspiring, and deceptively wise work. On the one hand, it’s deeply mystical (for example, the title comes from Gilbert’s concept of “Big Magic” as some sort of universal energy). On the other, it’s incredibly pragmatic, offering sage advice that applies to anyone engaged in a creative pursuit, whether purely for the joy of it or to make a living as well. This isn’t a “how-to” guide, but a series of essays and meditations on some of the challenges and contradictions involved in creative endeavours.

Some more rationality-loving readers might find the beginning of the book a little “out there” as Gilbert attempts to make sense of how creativity works in her own life. The theory that ideas are floating around in the universe looking for an owner was a big stretch for me, and the anecdote involving Ann Patchett is something I, personally, would file under “extraordinary coincidence.” Despite this, Gilbert’s endearing and self-effacing writing style means she comes across as passionate without being dogmatic, and encouraging without being pretentious.

Although the first couple of sections read more like magical realism, the rest of the book is down-to-earth and sensible, packed with valuable insights, suggestions and advice. Topics she covers include self-ownership (taking responsibility for your creative life), education vs. experience, commitment, not needing a permission slip, dealing with other people’s judgements and opinions and how to "follow your passion” when you have no clue what your passion is.

She also tackles pervasive creativity-related myths, such as those of the impoverished artist and the tortured artist. Rather than leaving our creative fate in the hands of the universe, Gilbert’s message is clear: stop complaining, show up, don’t wait for permission, and avoid getting distracted by things like discussions about high art vs. low art.

In other words, just focus on creating—and enjoy it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recently, the wonderfully inspiring author of Eat, Pray, Love and The Signature of All Things published a new book for aspiring writers. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. Big Magic is her first self-help book and as is as witty and humorous as Eat, Pray, Love. I took it with me on my solo trip to the Isle of Eigg and it was the perfect book to bring for those long rainy days when I couldn't get out but needed some inspiration and motivation to write. I haven't read other books about writing but I am sure after reading this that this is in a class of its own. When I first started reading it I thought that I probably wasn't going t get much out of it but I was still loving EG's style. She writes like she is speaking to a friend in the room. Big Magic is written openly and honestly and so therefore rather courageously I thought. One of the things which impacted me was the way she expressed the magical things that sometimes happen when one if writing. Perhaps some will scoff when they read about her theory that inspiration is floating around looking for creative people to birth these ideas or perhaps some will think, it's a good enough explanation as any. Elizabeth Gilbert offers quite a lot of sage advice as well as some wonderful personal anecdotes. I was totally wrong when I thought I would get nothing from it but an enjoyable read. This book is extremely encouraging and so much fun to read. At times she had me chuckling to myself and even laughing out loud. I was so inspired to write for the pure joy of writing that I ended up having an encounter of my own with 'big magic'. I wrote (or perhaps channeled) a short story of over 5000 words without hardly a pause except it was getting late and I was fighting sleep to keep going.Read more ›
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By A Customer on 31 Dec. 2015
Format: Hardcover
Very interesting. However for 272 pages Elizabeth Gilbert is basically saying the same thing over & over....& over....& over but intercepted with some interesting quotes from other authors. It is a motivational book indeed but it really bored me with the lectureous chapters droning on about fighting your fear. Perhaps some writing exercises would have been good here & there to motivate us further or perhaps inspiring us to look differently at that same old man who sits on the park bench every day:where is his home? What is he thinking every day?

A disappointing book.
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Format: Hardcover
I tried and tried with this book, but it is just so incredibly waffley. Basically, you can read the opening paragraph of each chapter and have the same understanding of the book as reading it in it's entirety.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a book. I gobbled it up in a day. Gilbert's voice is like silk. You slip through the chapters at speed desperate to devour more of her words. Or is that just me?! I love how deep and utterly simplistic this book is all at the same time. It made me stop and think and reflect on my own creative journey and my ego and how I want to progress through my creative journey. I am full of insights and wonder. One of the best self-help mindset books of our era.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought this book a little light on substance to begin with. Nice stories, perfectly pleasant; but then, as some of them end, they become little parables to carry with you through life and they really do add some meaning to it all. I am torn between reading it over again immediately or going off to make something...anything. Which is rather the point, beautifully made.
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