I have always been the one to question if our life is a result of the choices we make or is it fate. Lately some of the things that have been happening have convinced me that the universe does respond to you. All I can say is there is without a doubt a higher force.
God, energies, spirits whatever you want to call it.
This Friday, February 17th I was ahead of schedule for my city commute. I arrived at Penn station a quarter to 8:00 A.M. With ten minutes to spare I strolled around and found a bookstore. There were a few books on the table and I just randomly grabbed one and flipped through the first few pages. I wasn’t expecting to really buy a book that day. I was definitely not looking for something called Big Magic.
The most ironic thing was I found a book that talked about the very exact things rushing through my mind…
I always had a curiosity to write, but felt that I did not want to give up the stability of my job. I always had a dream to expose my writing to others, but the fear of others having greater potential hushed me. I always believed that if my writing didn’t grant a certain number of likes, it wasn’t the best material. I also believed that no one would take me seriously. They would laugh.
However, this book really taught me forget all that crap. Elizabeth Gilbert humorously attacks these thoughts and really makes it a point to state that all of us have the potential for a creative living. This does not necessarily mean we have to give up our 9-5 job or indulge in a starving artist lifestyle. We don’t need to go to emo mode and romanticize depression. Whenever our inspiration comes to us we have the choice to act on it or let it go. There is no race and no competition.
I think my favorite part was that we should define this inspiration to write as a form of curiosity rather than passion. If we’re curious we will follow our instincts. If we’re passionate it puts mountains on our shoulders and adds a connotation of self-sacrifice.
Most importantly, if you are really worried about the success of your writing then writing is actually not for you. The thing you love shouldn’t ever cause you great grief. I mean in the moment if a magazine didn’t accept your work, hey its good to let a few tears roll down and listen to Nickleback for 2 minutes, but ONLY 2 minutes tops. But the point of writing or creative living in general is just to do it because it brings you the greatest joy.
A person like me has never been able to articulate herself well in person. If I have it’s probably been a carefully constructed effort. But when I write my thoughts and feelings so easily translate from the tip of my pen. A couple of my friends go like how do you talk like a dumbo and write like somebody completely different. Well, this is me and this is how it is.
From the book,
there was an anecdote of Gilbert’s where she described a friend was invited to a high class costume party but showed up in a lobster suit instead. He was so embarrassed he could have turned around, but instead he walked into that room and called himself the “court lobster”. Everyone loved him.
“But you must stubbornly walk into that room, regardless, and you must hold your head high. You made it; you get to put it out there [your work]. Never apologize for it, never explain it away, never be ashamed of it. You did your best with what you knew, and you worked with what you had, in the time that was given”.
That section right there made me laugh, but taught me a lesson too.
Just do you.
I’m happy I bought this book. It came at the right moment, and I recommend it to everyone. We all need to live a creative life.