I have an affirmation Blu-tacked to my monitor that reads, ‘I want to see what happens if I don’t give up.’ I wrote after re-reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s inspiring book on creativity, Big Magic.
For anyone aspiring to live a creative life, it’s the equivalent of a warm hug from a precious friend who always has your best interests at heart. I rarely re-read books, but this one is an exception. I listened to it on Audible when it was first published. A while later, I downloaded the ebook and, to complete the hat trick, I bought the paperback so that I could read it again, but this time with a pencil.
I like to think that each time it’s popped up in my life, I’ve taken another step towards curiosity and creativity and a big step away from the fear that’s held me back most of my life. When it comes to my creativity, which in my case, was mainly my writing, I was so ruled by the fear of what other people would think of it, that I spent years paralysed and not doing something I love.
In the book, Gilbert talks about letting curiosity drive the car of your life and consigning your fear, which is impossible to eradicate, firmly to the back seat. With curiosity as your driving force, creativity can’t help but follow in its wake.
That one suggestion persuaded me to start submitting my novel to agents, write this blog, try my hand at embroidery (I love it, who knew?) and start drawing again for the first time in close to thirty years.
Sometimes the biggest changes come from the simplest of ideas.
So, thank you Elizabeth Gilbert and here’s to putting our curiosity firmly in the driving seat.
It’s not about doing or having…. it’s all about being