Today I think I have found the answer to a problem that I’ve had practically since beginning this blog and really laying the foundations of how I write book reviews. The problem is something that every bibliophile can probably relate to: too many books, not enough time.
I love writing book reviews, don’t get me wrong. It feels so fulfilling when you finally get your thoughts on a book out into the world in a format that is all your own. I am so glad I have found this passion and capitalized on it.
But here’s the thing: book reviews (at least for me) are very time-consuming. It can take me anywhere from an hour and a half to two whole hours to get a review done—including writing a post, adding links where necessary, making the thumbnail, creating and sending out emails to my subscribers, etc. While this series won’t fix that problem, it will make book reviewing a little bit quicker for me to create and hopefully more accessible for you all.
Okay, let me get to the point.
This series will be called Recommend Me a Book That’s: _____, with an adjective/genre in place of the blank. My vision for this little experiment is that these posts will essentially be super short reviews of books that I feel align with whatever the adjective/genre is for the post. For example, this first post will be Recommend Me a Book That’s: Uplifting! So without more anymore rambling, here’s my recommendation for an uplifting book:
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is my recommendation for an uplifting book! I read this book during the whole packing up and moving away for college process in the fall, and I’m really glad I did. Though I’m not claiming to be an official pro at college that’s not still scared of this next chapter in my life, my fear of the future has definitely subsided in the last eight months. To me, Big Magic is uplifting because Elizabeth Gilbert tells us time and time again that even though we are afraid, we must still try.
In the book specifically, she talks about how as a sixteen-year-old she “took vows” with the Universe that she’d be a writer. Not a successful writer, not a good writer, not a writer so long as __; just a writer—-regardless of the result. That to me is so uplifting because it takes away the pressure to do something as long as it is viewed to be fruitful by others. I think in today’s world where we are constantly faced with highlight reels of other people’s lives, it is so incredibly hard to do something and stick with it, but not see instant results. This can come in the form of not getting the amount of engagement you hoped for on your content, or simply lacking someone there to say I see you, I recognize your mission, I’m proud of you. intrinsic reward. I think if nothing else is true, we as a society have become very motivated by external reward and recognition. While I’m not saying that’s bad, I think we’ve forgotten the flipside of that coin:
Let’s think analogically. Say you decide one day to plant a garden. You want to grow, I don’t know, strawberries. You do the research about how strawberries are grown: where should you plant them? How much sunlight should the bush get? What type of soil? Etc. you’ve done the research, you’ve bought your materials, and you’re standing in front of the plot you planned to plant in.
But now you’re scared. What happens if this bush doesn’t actually grow? What happens if we have some freak weather that kills it? What if this is all for nothing? Am I wasting my time?
success was not under her controleven if there was no one there to cheer her on.
. She also vowed to become a writer because writing was what she loved to do. Intrinsically, she was fulfilled by the process of writing and becoming a better writer, In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert says she vowed to become a writer regardless of success because she recognized that
Going back to the analogy, the answer is this: whether the strawberry bush will grow, on some level, is out of your control. What matters is that this project was something you’ve been putting time, effort, and money into because you wanted to see it through, so why stop now?
In the book she also talks about her belief that the world, among other things like people, plants, and animals, is filled with ideas. Ideas that need human partners to make them a reality. Ideas that visit us and leave us just as quickly if we’re not onboard to say yes. She says in the book that we largely don’t notice these ideas trying to get our attention because we’re so caught up in our own day-to-day anxieties and distractions that we literally cannot see them.
How accurate does that sound? When I read this book and got to that section, I was like woah. All of a sudden, I was keenly on the lookout for ideas presenting themselves in different forms. I started looking at intimidating opportunities as possibilities to get a new idea, even if the initial opportunity didn’t work out.
And that, my friends, is one of many ways that this book teaches you how to live your life creatively beyond fear.
I’m really excited to be starting this little project on the blog! I hope you all like the idea! Leave a comment if you’ve read Big Magic or want to now that you know a little bit more about it. Until Friday!