3 Things I Learned from Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Big Magic”

Wow, my life has been a wee bit chaotic lately. I was away in Hainan, China to celebrate Chinese New Year. That was an awesome week! I even got to go to the beach.

The Beach

While I was there, I managed to post my entry for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny contest. That was an adventure: posting my story on my cell phone in a restaurant with an incredibly slow internet connection. But I got it done! If you did not get to read my entry, you can click here. And click here to read all the finalists in the contest. (Update: I’ve been awarded honourable mention. Yay!)

This week I decided that I was going to post about a recent favorite book that I recommend all creatives read, “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Here are three things that I learned from the book:

1. Stop complaining about being a creative. Sure being a creative is tough. But not only is complaining about it annoying, but it also scares away inspiration. Instead start affirming “I enjoy my creativity.”
2. You are only in charge of what you create. You are not in charge of how others interpret it. And if people absolutely hate what you create, then you can politely suggest that they go and create their own art.
3. If you ever worry about your store of ideas drying up, then go watch some children for inspiration. They never stress about where ideas come from and whether or not they will have new ideas.

If you like these examples, there are plenty more like them in her book. Have you read it? Feel free to comment below about one of your favorite nuggets from her book.

Valentiny Contest

Since I’m overseas, celebrating the Chinese New Year in the balmy south, I’m having a wee bit trouble posting this. But here it is! Happy Valentine’s Day!


Witch Walenda’s Grumpy Valentine’s Day

Witch Walenda stacked the potions on the shelves. She read the labels: lumpy, bumpy, dumpy, jumpy, frumpy, mumpy…She sighed. Newbies always got the most boring jobs.

Her arm stopped in midair. In her hand she had a potion she had never noticed before: rump. Why would there be a potion for your bum? Only one way to find out. She looked around. Just one little taste…She held her nose and swallowed some. “Yuck!”

Walenda stared at her bum. Nothing happened.

Teacher Tattie walked in. “How are you doing with the potions, Walenda?”

“I hate this job,” grumped Walenda.

The teacher looked at her. “What did you say Walenda?”

Walenda slapped a hand over her mouth, but her words escaped. “It’s boring, and I want to do something else.”

“Are you looking for a detention, Walenda?”

“Everybody else gets the good jobs,” said Walenda.

“Such a bad attitude and on Valentine’s Day too! I’ll see you tonight after class,” said the teacher.

Walenda slammed down the bottles. She looked at the rump potion again and noticed that there was dirt around the edges of the word. She flicked the dirt away. Grumpy, said the bottle.

Walenda slapped her forehead. She scanned the shelves. Happy, said a label. Walenda swallowed the potion and smiled.


(And now that I’m home, I’m posting the link for the rules to the contest.)

Update: I got an “honourable mention” Yay! Click here to view all the winners.

Writer’s Block?

Do you need some inspirational reading to get you out of writer’s block during these dreary February days?

Maybe the self doubt pixies are nipping at your heels. Tara Lazar has some pretty good thoughts about self doubt and writing that can banish those pixies. You can read about it by clicking here.

Or perhaps you need a purpose to get you going. Read about how a writer’s purpose can be like a giant magnet, pulling you to write, in an article by Jon Bard. Just click here.

Perhaps you will be reassured that you are not alone if you read about others who have writing fears in this excerpt from a “Courage to Write” by Ralph Keyes.

Finally, read about how Octavia E. Butler created a verbal vision board in order for her to become successful. Do you think it’s possible? Why not try it out?

What has pulled you out of writer’s block?