Creatives Bookclub * May 2019
I’m very excited as I write this to you because this is the first installment of the Creatives Book Club! It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been in a book club, can’t remember the last time you finished a book, are currently in a club already, or definitely don’t have time for anything like it. The beauty of an online book club is that you get ALL the benefit (book recommendations, guided questions, prompts for deeper learning, and creative camaraderie) without some of the stuff that make clubs hard (forgetting to bring the cheese, forgetting to open the book, running out of gas on the way, feeling silently guilty as you nod along with everyone who’s actually read the book). With this, you can take what you want and leave the rest. You can save this email and come back to it, dive right into the book I’m talking about each month, or ‘delete’ it to go finish its journey somewhere in the ethersphere.
Before I introduce the Book of the Month, I’d like to say two things:
I have read nearly EVERY book available on the subject of writing, creative process, and artistry. This doesn’t make me an expert necessarily, but it does mean that I know a good creatives-journey book when I read one and I know when one misses the mark. Basically, I’ve done the legwork. The books I feature here are vetted and read (sometimes over and over again) by yours truly.
Reading about being creative is a LOT different than actually integrating that creativity into your life. The books I’m featuring in this series are meant to be a delicious side-dish to your creative journey, NOT the main course. Reading about other people doing the thing you most want to do is one of the sneakiest and easiest forms of creative procrastination. Take it from someone who read about writing for 10 years before actually writing anything.
Ok, without further adieu, let’s dive in…
I proudly introduce… THE BOOK OF THE MONTH!
Welcome, Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I’m starting with this one because Gilbert does something that, until the book was published in 2015, had eluded many authors. She managed to honor the mystery and magic that fuels the creative life while, at the same time, acknowledging the real and tangible commitment required to cultivate it. The book is not a how-to, there are not any lists or formulas. It is simply one artist sharing a beautifully-worded glimpse into her creative story and ultimately uncovering the visceral universality of the creative process.
This book is intended for anyone looking to live a more creative life - yet another reason why I’ve selected it to kick-off the series.
You can start at the beginning and read until you fold the last page under your thumb OR you can flip to any chapter and revel in the insight you glean from that section. You can read it at the very beginning of your creative journey, right smack in the middle, or just before you decide to blow the whole thing up and ‘face reality’.
I rarely feel seen by a book. And this one saw, and continues to see, me on a profoundly intimate and heart-centered level.
If you’ve already read this book (amazing!)… I’d like you to read it again. And, while you do so, keep the following prompts in your mind:
What are the passages, chapters, and anecdotes that speak directly to you at this point in your journey? Write them down to dive into after, let these insights shine a light on what’s needed for you as a next step.
Do you disagree with Gilbert at any point? Why?
If you were to add a chapter to the book based on your own creative experience, what would it be? Bonus points for WRITING that chapter and sending it to me or sharing it with someone close to you :)
What’s been your own experience of the BIG MAGIC that she describes in her book?
So excited to hear your thoughts and insights!