Thursday, September 24

Tapping Into Magic For Creative Ideas


The author Elizabeth Gilbert - she wrote Eat, Pray, Love which was also a movie, starring Julie Roberts - has written a new book called Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. This is about how we can discover our creativity. She has, for example, a novel way of thinking about ideas, and how they can come about. See what you think of the following, in her own words. Part of it is following the coincidences that cross our paths.


"I've spent my entire life in devotion to creativity, and along the way I've developed a set of beliefs about how it works - and how to work with it - that is entirely and unapologetically based upon magical thinking. And when I refer to magic, I mean it literally - in the Hogwarts sense. I believe that creativity is a force of enchantment.

I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses, but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form, separate from us, but capable of interacting with us. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way any idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner.

Therefore, ideas spend an eternity swirling around us, searching for available and willing partners. (I'm talking about all ideas here - artistic, scientific, industrial, commercial, ethical, political.) When an idea thinks it has found somebody - say, you - who might be able to bring it into the world, it will pay you a visit.

Mostly, you will not notice, because you're so consumed by your own distractions and insecurities that you aren't receptive to inspiration. You might miss the signal because you're watching TV, or pondering your failures and mistakes, or just really busy. The idea will try to wave you down (perhaps for a few moments, a few months or even a few years), and when it finally realises that you're oblivious to is message, it will move on to someone else.

But sometimes - rarely, but magnificently - there comes a day when you're open and relaxed to actually receive something.

Your defences slacken, and magic can slip through. The idea sensing your openness, will; start to work on you. It will send the universal signals of inspiration (the chills up the arms, the hair standing up on the back of the neck, the nervous stomach, the buzzy thoughts, that feeling of falling into love or obsession).

The idea will organise coincidences and portents to tumble across your path, to keep interest keen. Everything you see and touch and do will remind you of the idea. It will wake you in the middle of the night and distract you from your everyday routine. It will not leave you alone until it has your fullest attention.

And then, in a quiet moment, it will ask, 'Do you want to work with me?'"

On Amazon UK: Big Magic:  Creative Living Beyond Fear
On Amazon USA: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

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  1. ...interesting view.

  2. Love it! Eat, Pray, Love was a terrific book and this one sounds just as good!

  3. I downloaded the book after I left your blog this morning. It's wonderful! Thanks for posting this.