I'm feeling a bit like Big Magic is the best thing that's happened to me in a while.
I'm about 1/8 of the way through this book and I am already super duper obsessed. I've dog eared maybe a dozen quotes that I need to shout from the roof top. And yes, I am that annoying person who dog ears the pages of books. Brand new books, at that. Hate me if you need to.
This book is written by the author of Eat, Pray, Love, which I had little to no interest in reading. I feel like I should feel bad about that, but I guess it just didn't pertain to me. If by some stroke of magic Elizabeth Gilbert happens to read that little blurb, I think she would be in full support of following whatever whims speak to me and ignore the ones that don't. So, Eat, Pray, Love was like this super huge deal that drove her into super-stardom and then she did something that I find deeply admirable and brave: She opened up about her experience with the creative process, and how it is magic. Like, actually magic. I could not be more smitten.
"I should explain at this point that I've spend my entire life in devotion to creativity, and along the way I've developed a set of beliefs about how it works—an how to work with it—that is entirely and unapologetically based upon magical thinking. And when I refer to magic here, I mean it literally. Like, in the Hogwarts sense. I am referring to the supernatural, the mystical, the inexplicable, the surreal, the divine, the transcendent, the otherworldly. Because the truth is, I believe that creativity is a force of enchantment—not entirely human in its origin."
Julia Cameron (you might remember I did a series on my chapters through The Artist's Way on this blog) has this idea that creativity comes from a more ethereal force, more God-like, which I was about 50/50 on. Her books are amazing, life-changing and all that, but I still had a bit of a tug of insecurity about the source of creativity. But when Elizabeth Gilbert explains it like "Hogwarts magic" I just emphatically agree. I'm fully on board with this idea that ideas are floating around looking for a loving home, not unlike lost puppies, and I want desperately to be the one to adopt them all. And if I had the resources I would. Believe that. But until that day comes I'm going to have to settle for the ones I know I have the skills to nurture and can bring into my world, as is.
One of the best things I've read in the book is just how futile it is to get possessive over ideas. She describes this uncanny experience she had with her equally creative friend Ann Patchett, where Elizabeth had one idea that was a bit neglected and floated off to find its new home [Ann's], and neither ladies felt scathed or brash about it. Just grateful that this idea found it's final landing pad. I need this to happen to me. I think it already is. #LadiesSupporitngLadies
"The worst most destructive conclusion I could've drawn was that Ann Pratchett had stolen my idea. [...] People convince themselves that they have been robbed when they have not, in fact, been robbed. Such thinking comes from a wretched allegiance to the notion of scarcity—from the belief that the world is a place of dearth, and that there will never be enough of anything to go around. The motto of this mentality is: Somebody else got mine."
She goes on to explain how with her book Eat, Pray, Love people would come up to her and say that she wrote their book. Told their stories. Which sounds objectively nuts, but I'll bet if I tried really hard I could go back to a place where I felt I could've ... if I had just ... But those 'had I just' and 'could'ves' matter to exactly no one, except of course the one sitting around thinking them. Maybe there's a support group for folks who should've all had the same idea if they had just. But I'm guessing as soon as they got some comfort from the commiserating, they would then sit around fighting about who really owned the idea. So it goes.
Part of this is fear. Part human nature. Part people just being asses.
"In the end, it's all just violets trying to come to light. Don't fret about the irrationality and unpredictability of all this strangeness. Give into it. Such is the bizarre, unearthly contract of creative living. There is no theft; there is no ownership; there is no tragedy; there is no problem. There is no time or space where inspiration comes from—and also no time or space where inspiration comes from—and also no competition, no ego, no limitations. There is only the stubbornness of the idea itself, refusing to stop searching until it has found an equally stubborn collaborator. (Or multiple collaborators, as the case may be.)
Work with that stubbornness.
Work with it as openly and trustingly and diligently as you can."
This is the longest post I've written in a while. To be fair, I didn't write most of it. A lot of it was a copy and paste job. I just can't garner all the inspiration I've gained from fully committing and surrendering to the magic. I'm sure scientists somewhere have come up with a perfectly logical explanation as to why and how creativity happens. I don't care. For me it's all Hogwarts style magic, and that's just how it's going to be from now on. I sincerely hope I am always this deeply connected to magic.
Note to self: Learn how to look this bomb in a pink cowboy hat source: Some Rolling Stone on tumblr
I want nothing more than to learn to make homemade pickle relish. source: Avocado a Day Nutrition
I'm convinced there is a place like this in Los Angeles and I will find it. source: bl-on-de on tumblr
Note to self: Be more like Vogue Europe. source: vogue-europe on tumblr
I'm buying this. Also, it was made in America. source: Planet Blue