I am a terrible writer. Not because I can’t construct a sentence or create breathing characters or weave a plot with as many twists and intricacies as a Turkish rug. Actually, I’m pretty good at those things (most of the time… I think). What I’m God-awful horrendous at is the whole process of writing. Inspiration burns brighter and hotter than nuclear fusion one minute and then fizzles the next, I work slowly and constantly backspace what I’ve just written because, dammit, it’s just not quite good enough – and do you know what?Maybe that’s because I’m just not quite good enough. Fear bullies me at every single stage of the process – which is crazy, because writing is something I absolutely love. If I’m not doing it, I’m miserable (and as a result, tend to make those around me equally as miserable…).
I picked up Big Magic because I wanted a little creative liberation – and I wasn’t disappointed. Once I cracked the spine, I finished it in two days. The book essentially tackles the issues and insecurities artists face from the conception of an idea, right through to realisation. Even though a lot of what Liz says is stuff that I think I already knew, really deep down, I needed to hear it – and she packages those lessons in such beautiful stories (from her own journey and those of close friends and colleagues) that writers and artists can relate to and understand in fluid, clear prose. It’s tough love, with a sympathetic voice.
You can probably tell, I loved it. If you’re in danger of becoming a ‘tortured artist’ then you need to read this. I loved Liz’s firm, yet calming tone and I feel like the things she had to say really changed how I’ll approach my next book. I’m in discussions with an idea and I’ve pleaded with it not to leave me just yet… Do you think ideas understand how stressful moving house is?