Posts Tagged ‘Big Magic’

Spiritual Journey framed

I thought I might give blogging a rest.  But in this wild world of social media, I have made connections.  Irene Latham is a poet/blogger and the kind of person I will do almost anything for.  She tweeted yesterday.

Here I am again because this is a subject I live with every day.
Be creative.
Be vulnerable.
These two walk together with me as I wander this writing terrain.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert speaks to me.  She writes for 272 pages about “Creative Living Beyond Fear.”  The reason this book has taken on such popularity is we are all battling this dualistic problem: creativity and fear.  On Goodreads, there are 333 quotes from Big Magic.  I could pick any one of them to make my point here.  That creativity and fear (or vulnerability) walk hand in hand.

With my students this week, I have been creating an altered book.  We have taken books that were discarded from the library for repurposing as a collection of writing from this school year.  For the most part, we’ve been making a mess.  But in the midst of the mess, creativity is evolving.

A favorite page using gel printed paper, collage, and a poem.

A favorite page using gel printed paper, collage, and a poem.

This is the freest I have felt about painting and creating in a long time.  I’m just doing it.  I don’t expect anyone but me to ever care about this book, so there is no fear.  And since I feel absolutely safe creating alongside my students, I am not vulnerable either.

When I write for others to read, the stakes become higher.  And yet, in this blog space, I have found a safety net.  I have a group of people I belong to.  I’ve gotten to know you by reading your blogs.  You know me, and you leave encouraging comments.  I may not know your face, dear reader, but I trust you.

Vulnerability is lessened by safety, community, and camaraderie.

Creativity breeds creativity.  Endeavoring to express yourself artistically whether with a paintbrush, a musical instrument, or a pen exposes you to failure.  Yet creating makes us human,  and creativity is meant to be shared.

flowing stream with quote

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.


I’m reading a new book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I’m not sure where I read about this book.  I know Leigh Anne is reading it, and so is Catherine.  So here’s the thing: If there’s a group of us reading this book who want to chat, we could start a virtual book club.  We could chat in Voxer or Google Docs.  If you want to join in, email me at margaretsmn at gmail.

Four years ago I jumped into publishing and put out a middle-grade novel, Blessen.  At the time, I found an old diary that told me I’ve wanted to be an author all my life.   Notice my expectation as a teenager that maybe confidence came from someone else.

"I would love to be a writer if only someone would give me confidence!"

“I would love to be a writer if only someone would give me confidence!”

If growing up has taught me anything, it’s that confidence comes from courage that comes from your. own. self.  No one else can give it to you.

Elizabeth Gilbert says she lives in fear everyday.

Creativity is a path for the brave, yes, but it is not a path for the fearless, and it’s important to understand the distinction.

Fear will always show up when you are trying to be creative.  You can tell it to go away.  But it’s always there.  I love that this great author is telling me this.

I’ve grown to cherish this blogging space because I feel safe here.  Whoever you are, reading and leaving me kind comments, you are my angels.  You help me feel like my words are worthwhile and mean something.

Since my OLW is present, I am showing up.  I’ll listen for the muse, the magician, whatever his name is and answer with a yeah, ok, let’s do this crazy creative thing together.

Being present this past weekend, my husband and I visited Lake Martin for the sunset on the way to our dinner/ dancing date.  It was not the best of all sunsets.  I got my boots muddy.  But we showed up.  With a little magic from the lens and Picmonkey, I created an inspiring image.  On Sunday, I wrote a tanka for the image.  And I am sharing it here.  Kicking fear to the curb!  See ya!


Photo and poem by Margaret Simon

Photo and poem by Margaret Simon

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