I'm still a bit behind with my reading for the year but usually colder weather means I read a little more so we'll see if I make it! I finished Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day a few weeks ago. I wish I would have took some notes from this book. I found it to be a very practical book with good advice. There were lots of exercises which I should have done but didn't. I enjoyed her case studies and it seems she has a lot of experience working with many kinds of creatives. [I wrote about one of my favorite stories from the book in my newsletter a couple weeks ago.]
This week I finished Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. If I'd read this book 2 years ago (it wasn't written yet but just hypothetically speaking) I wouldn't have finished it. It would have been a little too "woo-woo" for me then. I've changed a little and am starting to see that side in a different light.
I read a few reviews of Big Magic before beginning and too "woo-woo" was one of the criticisms of it along with the idea that the book contradicts itself. The author does contradict herself but if you read all the way to the end, she admits that. I think there are lots of contradictions within the creative process. While I don't feel the same as Gilbert about every single thing in the book, I enjoyed it anyway. I read it as her opinion, her story, her interpretation of the creative process and in that way I found it fascinating.
I did mark a few of my favorite passages:
These days, I'm far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me. Just say what you want to say, then, and say it with all your heart. Share whatever you are driven to share. If it's authentic enough, believe me-- it will feel original.
Do you want to study under the great teachers? Is that it? Well, you can find them anywhere. They live on the shelves of your library; they live on the walls of museums; they live in recordings made decades ago. Your teachers don't even need to be alive to educate you masterfully.
If you want to be an artist of any sort, it seemed to me, then handling your frustration is a fundamental aspect of the work-- perhaps the single most fundamental aspect of the work. Frustration is not an interruption of your process, frustration is the process. The fun part (the part where it doesn't feel like work at all) is when you're actually creating something wonderful, and everything's going great, and everyone loves it, and you're flying high. But such instants are rare. You don't just get to leap from bright moment to bright moment. How you manage yourself between those bright moments, when things aren't going so great, is a measure of how devoted you are to your vocation, and how equipped you are to the weird demands of creative living. Holding yourself together though all the phases of creation is where the real work lies.
On bad days, when I felt no inspiration at all, I would set the time for thirty minutes and make myself sit there and scribble something, anything. I had read an interview with John Updike where he said that some of the best novels you've ever read were written in an hour a day; I figured I could always carve out at least thirty minutes somewhere to dedicate myself to my work, no matter what else was going on or how badly I believed the work was going.
The outcome cannot matter. Fierce trust asks you to stand strong within this truth. "You are worthy, dear one, regardless of the outcome. You will keep making your work, regardless of the outcome. You will keep sharing your work, regardless of the outcome. You were born to create, regardless of the outcome. You will never lose trust in the creative process, even when you don't understand the outcome."
People don't do this kind of thing because they have all kinds of extra time and energy for it; they do this kind of thing because their creativity matters to them enough that they are willing to make all kinds of extra sacrifices for it.
Overall I really enjoyed Big Magic and now I'm looking forward to reading Brené Brown's Rising Strong.
I also wanted to share my friend Maryann's Instagram account. She's a librarian and a gifted photographer so you get some beautiful photos of books and great recommendations. These were a couple that she posted that I've read and enjoyed.
“We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, 'I survived'." ~Chris Cleave~ Little Bee _________________________________ When I can't read a book, the next best thing is to listen to one. The last couple of days I have listened to Little Bee while painting around the house. Little Bee is the story of a Nigerian girl who escapes death and her country and finds her way to England. The book has some beautifully written lines and passages and also describes unspeakable brutality and violence. Her story is heartbreaking but in the words of Little Bee “I was carrying two cargoes. Yes, one of them was horror, but the other one was hope.” Little Bee will make you see the horror some people face. _____________________________ #igreads #bookworm #bookstagram #read #igdaily #book #bookphotography #bibliophile #instareads #instabooks #goodreads #onthetable #audiobook #kindle #littlebee #chriscleave #newreads #literature #booksofinstagram #picoftheday #iphone
• "If anything it’s a novel about difference, about being an outsider, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way." ~Mark Haddon~ • This is a recent thrift store find that I purchased for 50¢! #fiftycentbookfinds I have not read it , but have looked at the summary and reviews and it sounds like something I will like. Has anyone read this one? I am also posting this as the #booksandglasses #booktag as tagged by @thoughts_of_an_insomniac ________________ #igreads #promoteliterature #bestseller #bookstagram #booksale #markhaddon #thecuriousincidentofthedoginthenighttime #read #igdaily #book #bookphotography #bibliophile #instareads #instabooks #goodreads #flatlay #onthetable #thingsorganizedneatly #makelines #newreads #literature #booksofinstagram
So what books are you reading? I've read several non-fiction in a row so I'm really looking for a good story now. Any recommendations?