thoughts on “Big Magic” & getting your creativity back

big magic

Elizabeth Gilbert’s newest book, Big Magic, launched last week and I inhaled it.

Maybe it’s a little dose of big magic but this book release felt timely for me, personally, just as I was starting to ask the universe where the heck my creativity ran off to. When I was in 5th grade I wrote derivatives of R.L. Stines Goosebumps books and illustrated pictures to go with them. One in particular that comes to mind is of a skeleton who circled suburban cul-de-sacs on roller blades terrorizing the children of the neighborhood. You did not want to live in that cul-de-sac.

It was ridiculous, terrible, and amazing; I’d kill for that creativity today.

As we grow older and life happens, it’s so easy to throw yourself whole heartedly into your work or your career and if that work or career doesn’t happen to be innately creative or feed your soul, finding a creative outlet becomes work on top of your already all consuming work-life balances and you’ll find your once creative self describing your new self has not all that creative.

Well, that’s what happened to me. I’ve actually said the words over the last few years; “Im not all that creative.” I think my rollerblading skeleton would disagree.

Within the first few pages of reading “Big Magic”, I felt this gravitational pull to grab my notebook and start writing before all of the thoughts left my head. I began scribbling memories that I must have locked away somehow — a memory of being published in my high school literary magazine and submitting my poetry to poetry websites. I had no inhibitions, confidence that I’d kill for today, and simply put? Creativity.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s book demystifies creativity and that’s a beautiful thing. Why? because demystifying it, makes it accessible and it should be accessible because we all have our own version of it – even if it’s just locked away somewhere.

and the magical way to access it?

Is to put in the work. Inspiration can certainly hit you in a magical way but taking inspiration, following through, and turning it into something that fills you up creatively (whatever that may be) will always require you to be disciplined, sit down, and do. the. work.

If you want to feel inspired to create something (anything!) I recommend reading Big Magic.

It certainly got me writing again.

Thanks for reading!

Amy K Hall

assumptions are gross

I take a lot of pride in my perspective on life. I’ve worked really hard to be where I am today — mentally emotionally and physically. Even still, I have a lot of work to do.

People often compliment my outlook and demeanor. It’s always funny to me when people comment on certain characteristics as if to say “you’re so lucky you were born that way. There is no hope for me. Im screwed.” because, truthfully, I wasn’t born this way. There are a lot of things I am by nature but there are also a lot of things I am not. 

I am not an extrovert by nature; I step out of my comfort zone everyday to get there. I once went to a sleepover and said nothing. I honestly can’t think of single sentence I spoke that night. 

I am not an optimist by nature; I step out of my comfort zone everyday to get there. Trust me… as quick as I can tell you the glass is half full, I can point out every scratch, chip, crack or dent. 

I am not peaceful by nature; I step out of my comfort zone everyday to get there.    Not to say that I enjoy conflict but I am an aires. I’m a fire sign. I like challenging people and I definitely push buttons – just ask my fiance. Actually, just ask anyone who knew me before my mid-twenties… or yesterday. 

I guess there are two points to all of this. 

  1. Don’t ever assume that people havent worked really hard (in some capacity) to get to where they are today. Assumptions are gross and you’re more than likely always wrong.
  2. You can make a conscious decision about who you want to be in life. It won’t be easy and it will require daily practices to get there but the good news? It’s possible.

If I’ve piqued your interest and you’d like to learn more, I’d love to chat. Feel free to leave a comment or contact me here.

Thanks for reading!

i guess nike was right all along

I was once scared of blogging. (I know…) You can read about it here. 

Since overcoming that, I’ve been fascinated with discovering the secret formula for kickstarting a good habit or, really, starting anything.

We all know some things are good for us, yet,  we can’t always bring ourselves to do them. For example, meditation, theres enough research telling us that this is without a doubt good for us but what’s the secret for getting started?

I look at people who are ridiculously healthy & energized and think…how did they do that? How did that happen to them? Oh, you mean they ate healthier, exercised, put in the work, and that’s the result? 

Yes. Just like that.

Turns out, there is no magic formula that will make you exercise, force you to meditate, eat your vegetables, take your vitamins, stop drinking so much on the weekdays (I’m talking to you, New York – you’re killing me) start your blog, write your book – anything! 

You just have to do it. 

Take one small action today and it will build the momentum for another small action tomorrow. 

Thats all. 

Just. do. it.

I guess Nike was on to something.

you can try & (maybe) fail or you can not try at all

#truth #motivation #justdoit

A post shared by Amy Hall (@amykhall) on

Last week, I ran into a college professor at a local coffee shop. Actually, I saw her from the back of the line, stared into my phone, and prayed she didn’t notice me.

Suddenly, I had a full on flashback of our last conversation. It was my senior year of college, and I had just handed in my final. She walked me out of the classroom to say goodbye, and asked about my post grad plans. I explained how excited I was to be an actress. I had taken every acting course my college offered and had never felt an adrenaline rush greater than when I was playing a character. The further away from my own personality the bigger the rush.

Since I was graduating, I could focus on auditions. I’d probably find a part time job to pay the bills and do what I already knew I loved.

Her response? “That will be hard, but good luck.” It seemed harsh at the time, but she was sincere in her well wishes, and she was right. It would be hard.

Snapping out of my flashback, I realized where all the avoidance was coming from. If she were to say hello to me, today, I’d have no great stories of failed or funny auditions, the work that I had booked, the successes the failures, the learnings. I couldn’t even say “well, tried that, not for me.”

I didn’t even try.

At the first sign of failure, I traded the grind of acting for a steady paycheck where I could safely learn to rise and fall fail.

I wish I could tell my 22 year old self how necessary, important, and ultimately, inevitable those failures would be but there’s a lesson to be learned in everything we do — or in this case don’t do and it’s one of the most important lessons of all, for me. 

It will always feel better to fail, learn &  grow than to have never tried at all.

Completely unrelated to fear, I no longer have aspirations of being an actress but I do have aspirations.

Big ones — and I won’t allow myself to say I didn’t try. 

how do you meditate?

I’ve noticed some people are very rigid not just in their practice of meditation, but in their definition of meditation.

Truthfully, It means something different to everyone. It’s not important that you do it a certain way. It’s just important that you do it. Why? Well, because science says so. There are studies that prove mediation can improve your focus, lower your blood pressure and even alter your genes. Who doesn’t want that?

The goal is to think of nothing, give your mind rest, and truly, if for only 20 minutes a day, be in the present. Whatever gives you that rest and clears the noise in your head, do more of it!

I have friends that paint their nails, hold a plank, dance, or sing as their meditation. Although I prefer the standard 20 minutes of sit-in-silence-and-think-of-nothing-technique, I’ll try just about anything.

How do you meditate?