It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you’re creative…
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert is pure MAGIC, and a must-read for anyone who wants to live a more creative life, do awesome things in their life, or show up in the world as their best self.
Big Magic is like an epic pep talk, with incredibly powerful lessons and truth-bombs that will revolutionise the way you approach your creativity and fear. It’s incredibly powerful, but delivered in a really unique way, where I feel like Liz is my new best pal and she is just chatting to me as we drink tea at my kitchen bench.
It’s definitely one of those books I know I’m going to come back to again and again.
I’ve already gotten so much out of reading this book, so today I’m sharing some of my most favourite lessons from Big Magic, the ones that have made the biggest impact on me so far.
1. Everyone is creative.
This book gave me the revolutionary wake up call that everyone in the world is creative, whether we think we are not.
I definitely was one of those people that has opted out of thinking of themselves as creative.
I thought because I couldn’t paint or draw awesomely, that I wasn’t a creative person. This book has helped me realise that I’m creative, no matter what. And it really has lit a fire within me to live a more creative life.
This realisation — that I am creative — has had a powerful and profound influence on me, and since this realisation I’ve been devoted to exploring my creativity. I’ve written more about what this has looked like here.
2. In order to live a creative life, you need to detach from the outcome.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the outcomes, results and metrics when we work on something.
In Big Magic, Liz emphasises how important it is to give your creativity your all and do the best you possibly can, but also detach from what the results of the creativity are.
When you’re creating Liz suggests acting like it is the most important thing in the world to you, but at the same time acting as if the outcome doesn’t matter at all.
This book has reminded me how important it is to let go of the outcome and to not have expectations on the result of your creativity.
3. You don’t need to be fearless in order to live a more creative life.
Fear really is a killer of creativity, and for me it’s the reason that I abandoned being creative, and chose to hide behind the I’m-not-creative mask.
Liz makes a point that if you want to live a creative life, you must also accept that you also need to make space for fear as well.
She also has a really unique approach to dealing with fear, instead of going to war with her fear, she chooses to make space for it, “it seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back.”
This book had made me realise you don’t need to be fearless to live a creative life, however you do need to be brave.
4. Suffering is not a pre-requisite for creating something great.
This book finally called out something I’ve been struggling with this year, that the creative process does not HAVE to be hard, painful or challenging.
Liz gave me permission to realise that it’s okay if the creative process isn’t difficult and emphasises that you don’t have to suffer to create something that’s awesome.
I wrote my eBook in two days, and the content for The 28 Day Gratitude Project in a single day. Both of these experiences were easy, and even enjoyable. But instead of feeling proud and accomplished, I felt incredibly guilty that it was easy, and I was convinced that it should have been more challenging and difficult.
This book will you give you permission to let go of the misconception that suffering is essential for creativity. Yes, creating can be challenging, but it definitely is not essential.
5. Your creativity doesn’t have the be important.
*Breathes sigh of relief*
Big Magic gave me permission to accept (and embrace) that my creativity doesn’t have to be revolutionary at all.
Your creativity really doesn’t entitle you to money, fame, acknowledgement, appreciation, views, likes, shares, or any reward.
Liz emphasises that you don’t have to make money from your creativity in order to be entitled to live a creative life, “But to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.”
Your creativity really does not owe you anything, at all.
And expecting or chasing rewards for your creativity does not serve you or your creative inspiration either.
This book has given me permission to create for the sake of creating, to be okay if my creativity does not serve a purpose, and not to put external pressures on my creativity.
6. It doesn’t matter if it’s been done before.
Have you been caught up in thinking that there’s no point in you trying because it’s all been done before anyway?
Well the truth is: “Well, yes, it probably has already been done. Most things have already been done—but they have not yet been done by you.”
If everyone believed that there was no point doing things that have already been done before, nothing would really happen at all, because really all we’re doing is stuff that’s already been done before in our own way, with our own individual spin on it.
No matter how many people have done it before, it really does not matter, because it has not yet been done by YOU, in your way, by your unique self.
Big Magic is your permission slip to do it anyway, in our own way (even if you think it’s already been done a 1000 times already!)
Oh my, I’ve been completely enthralled by by Elizabeth Gilbert’s #BigMagic, it’s truly magical and so inspiring. It’s chock full of wisdom and incredible truthbombs like this one: “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.” ?? Image: @elizabeth_gilbert_writer #BigMagic
∞ This was my first impression of the book and what I thought of it before I’d even finish it.
∞ Why I thought Big Magic was an awesome read.
∞ My Big Magic inspired creative confession.
∞ I loved Naomi’s 10 favourite quotes from Big Magic.
∞ Here’s why reading Big Magic made Tara cry tears of relief.
∞ This is an epic chat between Marie Forleo and Liz Gilbert about all things Big Magic.
Now I’d love to hear from you: If you’ve also been captivated by Big Magic I’d love to know what has been your biggest takeaway from the book?
I’ll leave you with one of my favourite lines in Big Magic: “Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”
I hope you do.
Love & Gratitude,
PS. You might also dig: 5 life-changing lessons from Wild by Cheryl Strayed.
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