Being an artist has always been an alluring career path. Looking at a piece of work that you’ve created gives a sense of joy and fulfilment, especially if you get paid for it.

But many people don’t follow that path for fear of failure. They believe their work isn’t good enough; that no one will like it. Their fidelity to ‘perfection’ restrains the good and unique image they have in their mind from manifesting physically.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, knows the struggles that creative people endure. In Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (Bloomsbury Publishing, $19.99), she explores the common problems and self-doubt haranguing not just amateurs, but experienced people as well. Outlining the positive effects that creativity can have on all facets of your life, Gilbert explains her view of creativity as being divine: a spiritual presence that runs through all of us.

The book is peppered with funny and insightful anecdotes from her own career, the creative highs – and demoralising lows – involved with writing for publication. These anecdotes are balanced with a serious tone urging you to use creativity to express yourself. Don’t do it for the reward; do it for yourself.

If you have any kind of creative passion and are struggling to bring it forth, read this book. It might give you the impetus you need to pick up a pen, brush or chisel and start!

By Roger Szmitt

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