On one dinner date with my dad, I proudly announced that I was writing a book, and he excitedly asked, “Oh yeah? What about?” When I replied that it was going to be about myself and stories in my life, I could see his enthusiasm evaporate. I was deflated looking at his deflation. It was obvious that he didn’t think this was going to have legs, and maybe it wasn’t. But I had been so excited, mainly just because I had started.
I left the dinner completely discouraged. I got in my head with negative self-talk and told myself that I was being naïve and I stopped writing.
No one wants to hear my story. I’m sure everybody wants to write about their life. Mine isn’t special. I’m a privileged white woman. Who cares? What an idiot.Jenn’s Monkey Mind
I don’t remember how I heard about Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, but thankfully I read the book sometime after quitting my book. It completely changed my momentum.
How’s this for a change in perspective:
Let people have their opinions. More than that – let people be in love with their opinions, just as you and I are in love with ours. But never delude yourself into believing that you require someone else’s blessing (or even their comprehension) in order to make your own creative work.Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic; p.148)
I had deluded myself into believing that I required someone else’s support or understanding. My dad didn’t understand, and that’s okay. I feel a bit stupid that I had allowed myself to believe that I needed his positive opinion, and without it I had convinced myself that I had written a lemon.
A side effect of reading this book was that I stopped thinking that I needed approval or that I had to try to write a book that people would want to read.
I don’t have to write something original, I don’t have to write to change the world. I can just write because it brings me joy! What!? Pfffft! Pressure is off!
My world opened up, and my mind was blown.
There were so, so many other gems that spoke to me in her writing. Loved the book, loved the motivation, and hey, I’m writing!
Written for Bloganuary prompt 10: Has a book changed your life?
2 responses to “Big Magic”
I hope you write your story because in some way they are different and inspiring.
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Thank you for this kind encouragement!
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