We normally don't just spout off about books we're reading to anyone willing to listen. Although, I have certainly debated starting a book club. Ever since I was young, reading has played a huge part in my creativity and my overall growth, and I think encouraging more people to read is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
With that said, there is a book that just recently made it into rotation for us while we're living in an RV. One that I think everyone should read. It's from the same author of "Eat, Pray, Love", Elizabeth Gilbert, if anybody is already familiar with her work. But her most recent publish, is one that I have been waiting to get my hands on ever since she gave an inspired TedTalk. Watch below. It's worth the 7 minutes of your day, even if you just play it in the background.
In this clip, Gilbert talks about the importance of continuously creating, even after we've been marred by roadblocks, fear, and failure. She even mentions how her success from "Eat, Pray, Love" became an issue for her creativity. It was such an inspired TedTalk, Gilbert went on to expand greatly on the topic, and thus wrote...
"Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear" is the type of book I've been waiting for. I've always had a fascination about the creative process for many people—how they do it, where they pull inspiration, if they have a process at all. But what also fascinates me is the fear that ends up blocking our creativity entirely. Gilbert touches on this in a very poignant way, as it does require a great deal of sensitivity.
But what I enjoy most about this book is that "creative living" is not directly related to having a career in the Fine Arts. It's not geared toward writers, or artists, or anybody working in a creative field. It's directed toward us all. Gilbert writes, "I'm talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear". I found this passage to be especially relevant to what Vanessa and I are doing on the road. Giving up the stability of our lives in Florida in order to pursue the curiosity of exploration, rather than staying put, out of fear.
Gilbert then goes on to talk about her fried Susan, who gave up her dream of ice skating as a child, and recently took it up again as a hobby at forty-years-old. Gilbert writes "She...had always loved [figure skating], but she'd quit the sport during adolescence when it became clear she didn't have quite enough talent to be a champion. (Ah, lovely adolescence—when the "talented" are officially shunted off from the herd, thus putting the total burden of society's creative dreams on the thin shoulders of a few select souls, while condemning everyone else to live a more commonplace, inspiration-free existence! What a system...)".
It's true, when you think about it. How many of us have had our dreams squashed simply because we weren't the best in the field? Or perhaps because it had already been done? Or perhaps because we were told that we weren't talented enough? Creative living is a blessing. It means you're able to express yourself freely, without fear. It is entirely more rewarding than any other path we are forced down.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is trying to live a more creative existence. It's time that we inspire each other to live without fear, and pursue what feeds our soul, no matter how far off the conventional path it may be.
I'd love to hear your thoughts below, whether on the book itself, or on your own experience with creative living!
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