The book is basically one giant pep talk for creativity and for life. Even if you don’t consider yourself a “creative” person, you’ll learn a lot from this book and probably realize that you’re more creative than you thought you were. In Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert shares her own wisdom and perspective on creativity, sharing story after story of how it has grown and matured through her own life as a writer and, most importantly, she encourages her readers to put fear in the backseat and go for what we most dream of in life.
While this book is filled with takeaways, here are six particularly important lessons you’ll learn while reading Big Magic.
Everyone is creative. You may have seen this coming from the intro, but one of the biggest lessons we learn from Big Magic is that everyone is creative. Sure, you might be horrible at drawing or can’t recreate something from Pinterest if your life depended on it, but there’s so much more to creativity than simply visual arts. We all have the ability to come up with ideas and to change things. Embracing our creativity will help us live more fulfilling lives.
Brave doesn’t mean fearless. Liz tells us to acknowledge our fear, but tell it to take a backseat and don’t let it drive our choices. We all have fear and we will always have fear, but choosing to move past that fear is where bravery comes into play.
Be guided by curiosity. Our actions are often guided by fear, whether it’s fear of what will happen if we do or don’t do something. Turn things around and be guided by curiosity. What if you tried this? What if you went in that direction? It’s okay if you mess up; just try to follow your instincts.
Don’t worry that it’s been done before. Everything has been done before. Every story you hear is a recycled version of a story that’s come before. Forget about what everyone else has done and just create something because you want to.
Creativity takes work. We often look at other people’s work or creations and think it must have just “come to them.” While sometimes inspiration strikes and it feels like there’s no effort at all, most of the time we aren’t magically motivated and things take hard work to create.
Detach yourself from the outcome. You’re never going to be able to create if all you’re thinking about is how other people will receive what you’re creating. Create for you, create because you’re being called to, create because you love it, and if other people love it too, then that’s just a bonus.
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