We have reached the end of our online bookclub and the question Elaine, Amanda and I have for this last post is:
What have we learned about creativity from Big Magic?
For me it can be summed up in two phrases: Take it seriously and hold it lightly. These two phrases seem to be contradictory, but it is important that they both exist side by side in my journey with my creativity.
Despite my certainty now, I did not always know I would be a writer.
Elizabeth Gilbert made a sacred vow of writing around the age of 16. Elaine Fraser she knew she wanted to be a writer at age 10.
I love writing. I love the thrill of a phrase that sits perfectly on the page. I love the tap of the keyboard, and the soft scratch of pen on paper. I love the feeling you get when you manage to capture an elusive emotion in a few words. I love those days when I am in the zone, words flowing so fluidly that hours can pass before I look up again.
I place two fresh-baked muffins on the bench, and wait for the smell to waft through the house. Before long two hopeful pairs of eyes greet me, with “Mum, may we please have a muffin?”
The gift of writing to me often feels like that fresh-baked muffin sitting on the bench and I am the hopeful little girl, looking at it.
I just want to ask someone, “May I please … ?”
My question over this year is “fear or faith?” So it was inevitable that for our book club, Amanda, Elaine and I chose Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. Which has the subtitle, Creative Living Beyond Fear. And it comes of absolutely no surprise to me that when I draw up the schedule “courage” is the first post I have to write.
And of course, this post comes right at a time of great paralysis in the writing of my book.
I am afraid. And as Gilbert says fear’s main purpose is to cause us to stop.
… everyone’s song of fear has the same tedious lyric: “STOP, STOP, STOP, STOP!