The search for that ‘Big Magic’

Let’s be honest here: I haven’t really channeled creativity beyond cloth-covered cubicle walls in nearly two years. Two years.

A second piece of honesty: it’s really hard to channel creativity whilst immersed in traditional corporate America. I’m fortunate to have forged muddy, puddle-ridden pathways for my creative juices to flow down…though, admittedly, the puddles have dried up from time to time. But enough of these metaphors.

Here’s a list of the most creative things I’ve done in the past year that I can think of right now at 12:57 a.m. off the top of my head:

  1. Moved my guitar from the couch to the corner of my living room because Nick never puts shit back where it belongs.
  2. Created a photo book on Snapfish of our trip to the Bahamas last June (woo wee).
  3. Painted my nails an outlandish color – does this count?
  4. Fashioned individualized birthday cards using blank cards I purchased from JoAnn Fabrics, because I’m too cheap to pay $3.50 for one damn Hallmark card.
  5. Made two necklaces and one bracelet.
  6. Painted flowers on my glass salt and pepper grinders using nail polish.
  7. Borrowed a friend’s woodworking shop to make Nick’s Christmas present: a pin travel map.
  8. Wrote letters to two penpals.
  9. Photographed our hike through Olympic National Park.
  10. (Barely) Started writing my novel.
  11. Cooked. A lot. Which I really do find creative and enjoy immensely.
  12. Attended a coworker’s gallery opening of her beautiful photography.
  13. Followed the instructions on my first MakersKit to make essential oil bathroom spray, bath balls, and a candle. (My Christmas present from Nick, who clearly noticed I’ve been starved of creativity… bless him.)

It’s 1:08 a.m. I allotted myself 10 minutes and, even though I racked my brain for all possible projects, I struggled to write the list above. As our president would say, “SAD!”

This is not acceptable.


One of my dear penpals – who also must have sensed my struggle from 3,000 miles away – sent me “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert for Christmas.

I’m only on page 61, but Gilbert has made me recognize and accept the absurdly short list above, and other areas where my creativity has been lacking. My short bio on this blog has included this paragraph for the past couple of years:

“I am always going, going, going (and talking, talking, talking). There’s something wrong when my mind isn’t whirring with new poems to write, blog posts to compose or tweets to tweet. It’s even weirder when I’m quiet. Trust me.”

Over the past two years I’ve only written two or three poems, two or three blog posts, and a mere handful of tweets.

And that’s just not acceptable.

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