Most of us know Elizabeth Gilbert as the author of Eat, Pray, Love, the runaway best-seller which chronicled her epic journey of self-exploration and was turned into a film starring Julia Roberts. Now Gilbert is on the road promoting her newest work, Big Magic, which is an unapologetic self-help book about learning to nurture our creative sides.
With societal trends shifting away from a skills-based economy to an innovation-driven one (check out Richard Florida’s seminal 2002 release, The Rise of the Creative Class), Gilbert’s new book may encourage not only internal but also economic transformation. According to a 2015 report by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts, the creative industries in the U.S. are a major driver of economic growth, contributing $698 billion to the economy. So for anyone who’s dreamed of bailing on their office-drone job for a serious brainstorm situation, now’s the time—and here’s the book.
At the crux of Gilbert’s argument in Big Magic is the belief that creativity is something we all possess and should nurture in order to live a happy and productive life. She shamelessly explores concepts many of us are quick to dismiss with a knowing eye roll, naming her chapters “Courage,” “Enchantment,” “Permission,” “Persistence,” “Trust” and “Divinity.” Whether you see the aforementioned words as inspirational bumper stickers or empty platitudes, you may be intrigued by Gilbert’s proposal that ideas have lives of their own—and will escape those unwilling to express them in favor of the more open-minded. So write that screenplay, or someone else will get to it first!
What do you do to nurture your creativity? Will you check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book?