While Elizabeth Gilbert is probably best known for “Eat, Pray, Love,” becoming a movie in 2010, starring Julia Roberts, my favorite of Gilbert’s books is “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear,” a book about fulfilling creative ideas. Gilbert writes about her experience of finding inspiration and following originality.

She shares her Letter to Fear. Fear, Gilbert says, always wants to accompany her on trips she takes with Creativity. But while Gilbert lets Fear join the journey, Fear is “forbidden to drive.”

Gilbert writes to Fear, “You are allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you’re not allowed to have a vote.”

Gilbert advises her readers to write about topics they feel passionate about in a form of a letter, and she has inspired me and Staff Writer John Coffelt to start our own correspondence.


What are you reading?

Elena Cawley 



Deal Politics,

I am not going to let you control my social life and social media relationships. We can browse Facebook together but please keep your snarky comments to yourself. As much as I understand the importance of governing the country – I’ve written several columns encouraging people to vote – I won’t let you determine my view of my friends. I won’t allow you to splash blue or red color on them and force me to see them through colored lenses because, Politics, I know that even though my friends might have political viewpoints different from mine, their choice of party does not make them good or bad people. Blue or red, we all want the same things: a safe home, opportunity for education, growth and career, and a happy future for our children in a peaceful and clean planet.

As much as I wish for my favorite candidate to achieve power, I understand this is not worth having a conflict with my friends because, Politics, I know you thrive on division.

Politics, you particularly get on my nerves when you want to suggest I should unfriend or unfollow people because we don’t like the same party. Please keep your reactions to the friendly “Like,” “Haha” and “Yay,” or better yet, just be quiet.

Best regards,

Elena Cawley


We’ve all shed tears for stories we’ve written

John Coffelt


Dear passionate voters,

It is great that a record number of you got out and voted. Elections are the foundation of our way of government.

Each and every opinion is important. But while yours is important to you, your values are equal to mine, whether or not we agree on whom should take office.

So stop with all the memes, on both sides. We are all Americans, and as voters we all did our civic duty to elect the person we see most fit to run the country for the next four years.

Let’s work to understand each and every point of view, especially those we don’t agree with, not to better criticize them, but to better work together.

The current division in politics is greatly maligned, and all the worse this election. But solving the political rift is not a matter of converting those people over there, but a matter of understanding them and reaching the best compromise.

That is what democracy is all about and it should come from the top. But if our leaders cannot embrace a sense of unity or at least mutual respect, perhaps we can show them that’s what we expect.

Moreover, it’s something that we should demand.

Yours truly,

A fellow passionate voter    

John Coffelt


Gilbert’s books are available on Libby app, free through the Manchester library. On Libby, you can find “Big Magic,” “City of Girls,” “Eat, Pray, Love,” “Signature of All Things,” “Committed,” “Stern Men,” “Pilgrims.” 

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