27. A Book with Magic
When I read books written by Elizabeth Gilbert, I feel like I am reading in big great gulps. She is so fun and easy to read. Everything written by her goes quickly. What is it about her writing that makes her so readable? I believe that is what made her big best seller Eat Pray Love so successful. The journey could have been anyones. The insights were good but truthfully the woman knows how to write clearly, cogently and compellingly. I had read one of her earlier books called The Last American Man long before Eat Pray Love came out and she was readable then too. Her novel, Signature of All Things--fastest 700 pages I have ever read. Beautiful, well told story. How does she do it? I would love to write so well that time slips away as you turn the pages.
I didn't even know she had a new book out, except suddenly there she was in my FB feed thanking me for being so supportive of her new book, so I ran out and bought a copy of Big Magic. It is about creativity and how to embrace it and use it and be in it and be your best artistic self.
Big Magic is an artistic memoir. It answers the question: How did Elizabeth Gilbert get to be a writer? What does she think has made her so successful? Again, I read this quickly and in great mouthfuls--good stories, good lessons--100% Liz Gilbert. She believes that you should be an artist and creative person before you worry about being successful. Don't worry so much about making it your living, make it simply your life. Her lessons revolve around several main topics: courage, enchantment, permission, trust, and persistence. All with examples from her own life and her artistic friends' lives.
I have heard her speak before and some of what she speaks about is recounted in this book. Good life lessons, all of it. I would use this when I teach or write, to give myself and others inspiration or direction. It is nothing remarkably new or groundbreaking, but it is well written and very much all about Ms Gilbert and her creative life. All worth reading. It is very fast--a good library read. Or you can borrow it from me!