Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
I loved every page of Big Magic. Elizabeth Gilbert tells about living creatively and managing fear on the way by giving examples from her own journey and from lives of many others. Creative living is not necessarily writing a book or painting. It is doing something in your life that makes you feel alive, that comes from you naturally, that shines your light. What stops you? Fear? Fear is there for an evolutionary reason. It is there to protect us from danger. Although fear is necessary, we don’t need it when we are being creative. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t show up. In fact, creativity and fear always go hand in hand. When you are being creative, opening up to something new, changing yourself by that, there is fear on your side. Because fear wants certainty, security; fear wants everything to continue as it was. It does not like the new, the unknown.
It is quite normal to have fear. But it should be dealt with. Gilbert makes a decision to deal with fear by giving it space. She says the less she fights with it, the less it fights back. She invites it to ride with her everywhere she goes but she never gives it the steering wheel: "Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way. I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but still—your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps; you’re not allowed to suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.”
If you want to pursue a creative life but stop yourself because of your fears, I definitely recommend you to read this book.