Big Magic Summary

When many people hear creative living, they imagine an artist or a musician. But creative living stems from creative thinking which can be applied in any life situation you might be faced with. Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Big Magic strives to explain creativity as the relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration. 

This book will guide you on how you can quickly notice ideas and act on them in any aspect of your life that requires creativity. This Big Magic summary delves on all the parts of the book to give you a glimpse of the ideas being put forth by Gilbert. 

Courage – there is a lot of treasure hidden within you that needs to be brought out. However many people do not have the courage for this. Elizabeth states that “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. 

The hunt to uncover those jewels—that’s creative living. The courage to go on that hunt in the first place—that’s what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one. The often surprising results of that hunt—that’s what I call Big Magic.”

Fear makes your life boring because you experience the same thing every day. You live in your limits. When you have courage, you face life head on and get to experience the depths of it. You need to be brave, but also you have to acknowledge that fear will keep showing up. 

To deal with it then you need to create space for it. When you recognize that you have fear, you are able to control it and suppress it. 

Enchantment – “I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life form. They are entirely separate from us but capable of interacting with us—albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have the will. 

Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.”

Ideas are around us and when an idea finds you, or you find one you feel the inspiration go through your body. It is a magical feeling that ignites your creative juices. When you accept an idea, it grows. With growth, it is possible for the idea to get sidetracked or even go away. You need to act on it with enthusiasm and passion so that it can blossom into fruition. 

Permission  when your creative juices kick in, then you are entitled to act on your creativity. Many people put their projects on hold because they think they are not original enough. Your idea doesn’t have to be original for you to act on it. Just take the idea and be authentic with it. Make it your own, and the outcomes will be fantastic for you. 

What are the motives of your project? Many people also feel like they are not ready to be creative because they do not know what reasons they have with their creative thinking. You do not have to save the world for you to be creative. Just be creative in your own little way. Further, you do not need to have a formal education regarding whatever you are doing. 

You don’t need a degree in journalism to become a writer. Just write and let the world enjoy your work. The idea here is do not wait for permission or for the ideal time for you to launch or work on your project. There is no time like the present.

Persistence  creativity is not a onetime affair. It requires persistence for you to find your rhythm and keep it. Keep learning about your craft and keep doing it over and over regardless of the failures that come your way. When failures come, take a lesson from them, so you do not go through the same experience another time.

“If you want to be an artist of any sort, it seemed to me, then handling your frustration is a fundamental aspect of the work—perhaps the single most fundamental aspect of the work. Frustration is not an interruption of your process; frustration is the process. 

The fun part (the part where it doesn’t feel like work at all) is when you’re actually creating something wonderful, and everything’s going great, and everyone loves it, and you’re flying high. But such instants are rare.” Only persistence will keep you going and focused.

Trust – many artists believe that their work thrives only in anguish. They deem anguish as the only authentic emotional experience for creativity. But this is not true. If you love your art and your art loves you back, then you should trust in your abilities and create regardless of your emotions. Choose love over anguish and with time your art will learn to love you back. 

Many artists have suffered depression and others even committed suicide because of the addiction to suffering. Do not become part of those statistics. 

Divinity – “Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and an incredible privilege. 

Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise—you can make anything.”

What I Like About the Book

I love the grandeur style of writing that Gilbert uses in this book. She has a way with words, and from her writing, you can tell she is a professional. This style of writing amplifies and pounds the message better. The book is exciting and full of profound wisdom.

Why You Should Read the Book

You should read the book if you are looking to get your creativity back. This book will help you get the inspiration you need to carry out any creative projects in your line of work. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and ideas are always around you. You only have to know when the idea has found you, and the magic happens. 

Next summary: Broken Open

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