I started writing around the age 9 and discovered something I was really passionate about, something that “created a revolution in my heart”. I knew then I wanted to be a writer. My parents never took me seriously but I kept writing because I could, because it made me a better person, because I believed in me. However as I grew older, I let the fear of rejection, the fear that my art wasn’t good enough, important enough, take over me. I even postponed starting this blog for the longest time. Until one day I thought: to hell all the assumptions! I needed to let the artist in me live out, speak out.
Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond fear is undoubtedly one the most inspirational books I have ever read. In this exquisite book, Elizabeth Gilbert shares her conception of creative living and encourages everyone to invest in their art but also to rethink their relationship with creativity and fear. I felt my heart pumping with joy and adrenaline reading this book, convinced that Gilbert was talking directly to the artist in me. I even got inspired to write “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” , in between two chapters of the book. I am keeping this book in my library, with sticky notes and highlights all other it.
I want to share my most favorite paragraph from the book; the idea that brought me right back to allowing my creative self be, despite anything and everything.
“Let me list for you some of the many ways in which you might be afraid to live a more creative life: You’re afraid you have no talent. You’re afraid you’ll be rejected or criticized or ridiculed or misunderstood or—worst of all—ignored. You’re afraid there’s no market for your creativity, and therefore no point in pursuing it. You’re afraid somebody else already did it better. You’re afraid everybody else already did it better. You’re afraid somebody will steal your ideas, so it’s safer to keep them hidden forever in the dark. You’re afraid you won’t be taken seriously. You’re afraid your work isn’t politically, emotionally, or artistically important enough to change anyone’s life. You’re afraid your dreams are embarrassing. You’re afraid that someday you’ll look back on your creative endeavors as having been a giant waste of time, effort, and money. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of discipline. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of work space, or financial freedom, or empty hours in which to focus on invention or exploration. You’re afraid you don’t have the right kind of training or degree. You’re afraid you’re too fat. (I don’t know what this has to do with creativity, exactly, but experience has taught me that most of us are afraid we’re too fat, so let’s just put that on the anxiety list, for good measure.) You’re afraid of being exposed as a hack, or a fool, or a dilettante, or a narcissist. You’re afraid of upsetting your family with what you may reveal. You’re afraid of what your peers and coworkers will say if you express your personal truth aloud. You’re afraid of unleashing your innermost demons, and you really don’t want to encounter your innermost demons. You’re afraid your best work is behind you. You’re afraid you never had any best work to begin with. You’re afraid you neglected your creativity for so long that now you can never get it back. You’re afraid you’re too old to start. You’re afraid you’re too young to start. You’re afraid because something went well in your life once, so obviously nothing can ever go well again. You’re afraid because nothing has ever gone well in your life, so why bother trying? You’re afraid of being a one-hit wonder. You’re afraid of being a no-hit wonder”
“Recognizing that people’s reactions don’t belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you’ve created, terrific. If people ignore what you’ve created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you’ve created, don’t sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert,