Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: About Writing

What’s the #BigMagic about #ElizabethGilbert?


Back in 2012, I included a video of Elizabeth Gilbert in the post, Must Writers Suffer Melancholy, Anguish, and Depression?

I consider that video a Magic Performance

She captures Something Elusive about writing and infuses it into one’s soul

I’ve watched it more times than I can count; but, until very recently, I took no notice of her books

So, because of her most recent release and a friend giving me an Amazon gift card, I bought three of Ms. Gilbert’s books.

Eat Pray Love was Magic

The video I mentioned up there was done after Eat Pray Love had become a phenomenon—selling over 10 million copies.

I’d imagined it was some light, frilly thing about taking a year off from work and living it up

Turns out it was an extremely well-written, lyric book about taking a critically-needed year to heal and rebalance a life sorely-torn

So my first answer to the question (without the hashtags) What’s the Big Magic about Elizabeth Gilbert? would be:  she could suffer a devastating divorce, bring on more suffering with a rebounding affair, and somehow convince her publisher to pay for a year’s travel to Italy, India, and Indonesia so she could reconstitute her identity

Oh! And then write a book about it all.

I also bought her novel, The Signature of All Things, which I won’t read until I’ve finished a chunk more of my research for my next book

And, I bought her newest book, Big Magic, slotted further down the reading road

You can watch a slew of videos with Elizabeth talking about Big Magic and here’s a bit of a synopsis:

“…this beloved author digs deep into her own generative process to share her wisdom and unique perspective about creativity. With profound empathy and radiant generosity, she offers powerful insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and to let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love (and how to face down what we most fear).”

If my Muse were not the lovely martinet she is, I would be reading Big Magic right now—my next book needs a certain amount of preparatory care and feeding—and the Muse is confident I’ll begin reading Big Magic at just the right Magic Moment

I’m not allowed, yet, to know too much about that book but YouTube has a series of podcasts about Big Magic in Ms. Gilbert own voice (look in the right side-bar on YouTube for more of the series…)

And, speaking of her voice—it has Big Magic

It’s a combination of her tone and timbre (in a lower, provocative range) along with the pace of delivery (modulated by passion and concern) and her amazing ability to talk off-the-cuff yet make perfect and lyrically-delivered sense

Take A Listen………

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Beyond Google ~ a Search Engine Just for Writers


Most blogs have a built-in search engine (look up and to the right…)

Many blogs also have a Top Tags feature—selecting groups of posts by keywords (scroll down in the left side-bar…)

So, writers can go to other writers’ sites and find information about writing, right?

Of course, there is the work of finding the other writers that you want to read

And, speaking of reading, I simply have to direct you toward a post I wrote early in the life of this blog—Learning How To Be An Author Means Much More Than Reading About How To Write…—which cautions about reading too much about how to write and gives other advice for the aspiring writer…

Still, there’s a certain amount of reading about writing that all writers do and many regularly go to Google (often, for valid research for what they’re writing about)

However, here’s a comment from author Elizabeth S. Craig:

“Trying to find an article on POV, internal conflict, scene structure, dialogue? The highest ranking post in Google for any given writing search is frequently an assignment that a college professor has posted (an assignment on the topic, not a resource), or a vague article by a content mill site that doesn’t address the topic in any kind of depth. It’s just not what writers are looking for.”

Elizabeth is an interesting person—she’s collected over 30,000 links to timely and informative articles by writers (and, is still collecting more…); and, she also “…monitors over 1500 websites for great articles on writing and then posts the links on Twitter.”

But, you don’t have to follow her on Twitter to find those links

Mike Fleming, creator of an on-line Fiction Organizer, has helped Elizabeth create the Writer’s Knowledge Base—enter some words and go straight to carefully selected articles—well, I’ll let Mike tell you:

“While Elizabeth supplies the content I develop and maintain the WKB from a technical perspective. We both see the WKB as an extension of the service Elizabeth provides to the writing community via her tweets. Over time, we have plans for making the WKB experience better for both readers and article writers. If you are an article provider we hope you’ll start to see more traffic to your site as the WKB gets more popular.”

Also, with MyWKB, the Writer’s Knowledge Base “can remember what you like and present the best articles on writing to you in a variety of ways. It’s free!”

And, for you writers who blog, you can add this code to help folks get to the Writer’s Knowledge Base:

<a href=”http://writerskb.com”><img src=”http://images.hiveword.com/WkbBadge.png&#8221; width=”106″ height=”57″ alt=”Writer’s Knowledge Base” title=”The best writings on writing”></a>
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com