Big Magic is essential reading for the writer who is hiding her first novel in a drawer because she’s scared to see what the world would say about it. And for the closeted writer who has yet to rile up the courage to publicly say, “I am a writer.” And for the writer watching his Amazon stats daily, growing more and more depressed at the lack of reads or reviews.
It’s for anyone who gets creative ideas but doesn’t know what to do with them, who comes up with endless excuses to ignore them, or who wants to write but feels too inadequate, too immature, too old, too uneducated or too unattractive. If there are words ready to escape your soul but you’ve locked them away rather than setting them free, you must read Big Magic.
I first read Big Magic in 2015 when it was first released. It was one of the few books that I have ever reread, and it is now one of the very, very few books that I have reread multiple times. I read it whenever I start to feel too inadequate to write, when my fears start to overtake my creativity, and when I simply need to remind myself that I’m not the only person in this world dealing with the emotional drama that comes with passionate writing.
Is Big Magic a Fiction Writing Book?
When I decided to include fiction writing book reviews on this website, I instantly thought of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. While it isn’t dedicated to the craft of writing and it won’t tell you how to write better, it does something far better. It tells you how to break through the psychological barriers that stop so many fiction writers from producing and releasing the work that they were put in this world to create.
Mindset training is essential for any fiction writer, and this book is a great starting point for writers at all levels. I appreciate that Elizabeth Gilbert is so open and honest about her own shortcomings, her writing process, and the ups and downs that come with success in the writing world. If you’re an aspiring novelist or short story writer with big dreams, this book will give you a good glimpse into what happens when you make it to “the top.”
This is also just an excellent glimpse into the literary life of one successful author.
What Will Big Magic Teach You?
Elizabeth Gilbert uses this book to address the intersection of creativity and fear, which I have experienced throughout my lifetime as a writer. The book explores a unique view of mysticism when it comes to creative writing ideas, and it made me realize that my experiences regarding the magic of great ideas aren’t as kooky and odd as I always thought.
This book gave me permission to simply be a writer. It gives every writer the confidence to simply enjoy the creation of art, fully embracing wherever it leads you.
Most importantly, it puts fear in its place. Elizabeth doesn’t tell her readers how to overcome fear or how to stomp it into the ground so that it’s never again a problem. She has a message that is far more powerful, far more realistic, and incredibly freeing for me as a creative soul who has always been bound by incredible fear.
I consider Big Magic pure inspiration for all creatives. It’s basically a therapy session that you didn’t even know you needed.
Who Should Read Big Magic?
I believe all writers, painters, photographers, dancers and others with a creative soul should read this book at least once. It doesn’t matter what you thought of Elizabeth Gilbert’s previous hit novel, Eat Pray Love. This book stands entirely on its own merits and is an entirely different book.
If you don’t yet consider yourself a “real” writer, definitely read this book. If you consider yourself an “aspiring” writer, you must read this book. If you’re an indie author with any level of success or no success at all, I recommend you pick up this book immediately. If you have just always felt like you were meant to write but haven’t taken it seriously yet, click the link below and read Big Magic.