Recently I have been reading, and rereading, Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic.
I find “Big Magic” excellent. Elizabeth has written a useful book for anyone interested in creative practice. It is not a book drawing on theory but one from her experience and her heart. Some examples: Her attitude to perfectionism and procrastination. “You do what you can do, as competently as possible within a reasonable time frame, and then let it go”. (Then… next!). Her attitude to the socially irresponsible artist is: “I don’t buy it. I believe you can live a creative life and still make an effort to be a basically decent human person. I’m with the British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips on this point, when he observes: “if the art legitimates cruelty, I don’t think the art is wort having””.
For me her most useful idea is to consider your life as an artist as a “Trickster” rather than a “Martyr”, for the artist to lighten up and play with her creativity. My personal metaphor for this is for us to “dance with our creativity”. And Elizabeth encourages curiosity.
“Big Magic” is a wonderful resource. I am rereading my copy, making notes and acting to bring Elizabeth’s ideas into my practice. I recommend this book to you.