'When I talk about creative living, I am speaking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life and hell of a lot more interesting life,’ she says.
Here’s how to get inspired to live that life:
1. Give yourself permission.
You do not need anyone’s permission to live a creative life, says Gilbert . 'Are you considering becoming a creative person? Too late, you already are one. If you’re alive, you’re a creative person. Now go make something,' she says. 'Don’t be afraid of bright colours, or new sounds or big love or risky decision or strange experiences or weird endeavours, or sudden changes or even failure.'
2. Be calm and firm with your inner critic.
Speak to your most darkest and negative interior voices the way a hostage negotiator speaks to a violent psychopath: calmly but firmly. 'Most of all, never back down,' urges Gilbert. 'The life you are negotiating to save, after all, is your own.'
3. Focus on pleasure and delight
Complaining closes the door to inspiration. Delight in your life instead, says Gilbert. ‘Inspiration will hear your pleasure and it will send ideas to your door as a reward for your enthusiasm,’ she says.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (Bloomsbury, £14.99) is out now