I just finished Big Magic. The writer, Elizabeth Gilbert, also wrote the NYT bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. I kept Tim awake because I couldn't stop jabbering about it. This book inspired me and made me laugh out loud.
If you do not have time to read this book, I HIGHLY recommend you watch this You Tube clip of her TED talk on creativity. It is a good highlight of her book and you will walk away ready to create despite all the fears that threaten to hold you back.
Here are some of my takeaways.
1. Everyone is creative. It is a tired argument, but Elizabeth refreshed it for me. From a Christian perspective, I see that God created us and we are made in his image. Therefore, we are creative. Creating things is an act of worship and just part of our make-up. There is no "creative type." We are all the creative type.
2. There are multiple paradoxes involved in the creative life. We should take our work very seriously but lighten up a bit. We should work hard on the daily and wait for inspiration. We should not care about the results of what other people say or take stake in our work, yet press on and get it out there anyway. Bottom line, we should create and keep on creating.
3. Just because someone else did it, is doing it, or will do it better, is no reason for you not to do it. Just because you will fail miserably is no reason not to do it. We can't kill our fears, but rather become comfortable with it traveling next to us. Many of the podcasters and authors I've been following have made the point that all those people are not YOU. You have a unique experience and a unique voice and there is room for everyone.
When I started this blog, I revisited my old blog I made in college. The name of it is My Quotidian Eureka. Have a visit and have a laugh. It is very pink, very passionate, and very college Jillian. One highlight was the discussion of the spiritual nature of pink gumballs. Upon rediscovering it, I was embarrassed it existed on the internets, but I was also in awe of the bravery of my past self. What happened to that girl who traveled with her fear to create something meaningful? When I read the comments, I realized my words were resonating with other people. Now I'm proud of that Quotidian Eureka, all seven posts of it, and the courage I mustered to try it in the first place.
4. Create to help yourself, not to help others. In the process of helping yourself, you will inevitably help others by sharing your unique story through your work. The greatest response I've ever had to my writing has been when I've shared what God is doing in my life versus trying to convince others with what they should try to do with theirs. This blog is my way of processing what God is teaching me, my creative outlet, and my hope of helping others with the crazy ways God is helping me. I also find that I'm a better mom and wife and all the other roles I juggle when I'm creating. Again, creating is an act of worship. When we are worshiping, placing God at the center instead of ourselves, we are in the right posture to help ourselves and others at the same time.
Please read this book! Let me know what you think of it and what you are creating today!