Train Reads: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

As you may know I commute between York and London each week for work/life reasons. It's a two hour train journey, Thursday afternoon/evening and Monday morning. Sometimes it's a pain to be travelling up and down the country, but it's a part of my life and my routine. I can be very productive on these journeys - turning off the internet on my laptop and just getting some work done. This can be affected by my penchant for feeling weepy on train journeys, but in general I like to have four hours each week to focus. Every once in a while, though, I treat myself to a train read. There's something about reading on a train that is so nice - it's two hours I can give to myself to ignore the world and fall into a book. Thank you Vodafone for having such bad service on the east coast train line (and to Virgin Trains East Coast for limiting wifi to 15 minutes). Such is the modern life. Sometimes you just need trains and planes to force you away from your screens.

This week I needed a good train read, something to bring magic into these grey January days. This is the greyest time of the year - January and February are stretching out before us, interminably it seems, with very little to brighten up our days. And then I picked up Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I didn't know I needed this book, not this much. But I really did need to be reminded of the 'Big Magic' in my life. 

Today, instead of writing a review I'd like to share one of the passages from Big Magic that gave me chills when I read it on the train last week. I don't think I could ever write a review of this book because it is bound to be so different for every person that reads it, depending on what kind of journey she is on. It's a self-help book after all, one that tackles the most elusive part of the human spirit - creativity.

There's something about reading when in motion - the train rushing over its tracks, gliding through the English countryside. You're caught out of time and out of place, ready to be swept away by great prose. Last week, I took a journey with Elizabeth Gilbert to find the courage to accept 'Big Magic' in my life. Instead of falling into a great story, a different world, I searched within myself. It was quite a journey.


It isn’t always comfortable or easy - carrying your fear around with you...- but it’s always worth it, because if you can’t learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you’ll never be able to go anywhere interesting of do anything interesting.

And that would be a pity, because your life is short and rare and amazing and miraculous...

And you have treasures hidden within you - extraordinary treasures - and so do I, and so does everyone around us. And bringing those treasures to light takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion, and the clock is ticking, and the world is spinning, and we simply do not have time anymore to think small.

I hope you read Big Magic, friends, to learn just what it means to live a life of creativity.