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City Reads: Big Magic

February 1, 2018

You might recognize the name Elizabeth Gilbert from her acclaimed novel, Eat Pray Love. You know… the one that became a Julia Roberts movie where she finds herself by traveling around the world. Even if you haven’t read Eat Pray Love yet (guilty!), Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is the book every creator needs in their life.


The self-help book breaks down on how you can live a creative life. There are six sections: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust, and Divinity. Each section encompasses various experiences to explain that everyone is born to be creative. However, it’s up to you to take that creativity to the next level. We are all faced with self-doubt and perfectionism. As a writer, I’ve dealt with these struggles too many times to count. Gilbert’s words have convinced me that I’m meant to be on this path.

While there are many lessons I liked in Big Magic, two of them really spoke out to me. You don’t have to be fearless to be creative. The sense of fear and the unknown is scary, yes, but dealing with that fear every day is what makes you brave. As much as we doubt our creativity, we continue to do it because we have to it. It’s what makes us truly happy.

I also love that your creativity doesn’t have to be important. You’re not in it for the fame or money. I think that’s a reminder that some of us need in a world of social media numbers or the desire to go viral. I’ve got to the point that if I continue to put out my work out there, something magical will happen soon enough.

Favorite Quotes

  • “If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.”
  • “Through the mere act of creating something—anything—you might inadvertently produce work that is magnificent, eternal, or important.”
  • “A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life.”
  • “Ideas of every kind are constantly galloping toward us, constantly pass through us, constantly trying to get our attention.”
  • “It’s a simple and generous rule of life that whatever you practice, you will improve at.”

What to Read Next

  • You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero: This super long title sums this book up pretty well
  • The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna: Are you still searching for your true calling? Give this book a try.
  • On Becoming Fearless…in Love, Work, and Life by Arianna Huffington: Find the courage to overcome fear in every part of your life.

City Reads is a monthly series on Lost & Found in the City. Got any recommendations for next month’s book? Share your favorites in the comments below!

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City Reads - Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Author: Katina Beniaris

Born in Chicago, Katina has always been drawn to cities. She spent her college years in the heart of Chicago studying journalism and she travels to various cities every year for new experiences. When she’s not blogging, you can find her catching up on the latest pop culture sensation on Netflix.

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