Giftast Loves… Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert

This isn’t always going to be books. Just mostly books, because books are literally the best things. I grew up on a steady diet of fiction, discovered Mills and Boon at 18, then diversified into mystery and thriller in my 20s. One genre I’ve never really got into until the past year or 2 is Self Help.

I was always quite dismissive of self help, because sometimes, when we are younger, we’re assholes. But as I got older and realised just how much my Self could do with Help, I decided to go for it. I think it was spurred on by starting my own business – nothing shows you how little you know than starting a business. But we digress.

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I guess most people will know Elizabeth Gilbert from Eat, Pray, Love, but I am not one of those people. Was it a historical romance? No? Then Katherine wasn’t interested. I first heard about Big Magic on the Marie Forleo podcast (see, I am 100% embracing the self help, and I love, love, love Marie). You can see the Marie TV episode below, and I’d highly recommend it.

So, Big Magic.

About 7 years ago I completed an illustration degree, and in the process had completely fallen out of love with drawing. I’d been slowly getting back into creating art over the past couple of years, as you can probably tell by this whole “Giftast” thing, but there was still this cloud of doubt in the back of my mind. I feared that I was wasting my time and wasn’t good enough.

There are lots of things I want to do, to make, to create. Fun things, big paintings, tiny, detailed drawings. I want to make a pack of cards, entirely hand painted. I want to make massive posters and experiment with gold leaf finishing on one-off portraits. But I haven’t. Why?

Fear. If you don’t do it, you don’t fail. This mentality has held me back in a lot of things in my life. But now… Big Magic.

I read chapters of this and was moved to start creating – this has reaffirmed my love and helped me remember why I drew in the first place. It’s all about the joy.

The book is written in easy to digest chunks that you can dip in and out of, and Glibert’s style is like that of an old friend who deeply cares about you. I’d recommend this to anyone considering taking up a creative pursuit, returning to one, or who finds the process of creating difficult. Gilbert’s insights about the trickster/martyr were particularly useful to me, and I’m sure I’ll revisit this book many times in the future.

Fear and doubt don’t go away, just like that, just because you read a book. But what this did for me was to put those fears and doubts into perspective. Creativity is a gift, it’s fun, and when you’re practising drawing and you just can’t get the eyes right because you keep forgetting to check them in a mirror, it can be easy to misplace that feeling of fun.

How does this relate to your wedding, you may be asking? Well, if you’re planning a wedding, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. There may be things you want to do yourself – table centres, the cake, the dress, the invitations – but if you’re out of the creative habit, it’s easy to assume you won’t be able to do what you want, or it won’t look as good as it does on Pinterest… If it is something you’re unsure about, maybe give Big Magic a read, see if it helps?

Check out Big Magic here, and don’t forget to watch Elizabeth Gilbert on Marie TV!

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