Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic is a book that will help you unleash your creativity. It talks about the right mindset, attitude, and approaches to best live a creative life. By reading this, you will have the courage to pursue your creative passions and follow your curiosity despite fears. This will also help you let go of needless pain and instead focus on enjoying every moment of your creative process. Above all, you will discover the value of trust and its power to combat your doubts. Thus making you more inspired and fascinated by the wonders and mysteries in the creative realms. 

Summary Notes

Have The Courage To Live a Creative Life Despite Fears

“Your fear will always be triggered by your creativity because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome.”

All of us have fears that we’re trying to overcome every day. Often, we unconsciously allow it to stop us from doing the things we want to do. No matter how many times we try to kill it, it just repeatedly shows up. This is because fear is a part of being human, and it is important for survival. It is also needed if we want to live a creative life. 

Living creatively is not about being fearless. Rather, it is about being courageous enough to acknowledge your fear while still letting creativity inspire you. It is like going on a road trip where you, your creativity, and your fear are the passengers. In the front seat, there is you and creativity, while in the back seat is fear. 

Allow your fear to be at ease and scare you, but don't let it drive or decide where to go. Make it a rule that only you and your creativity are the drivers and decision-makers along the way. 

While bringing your fear along with you is difficult, it is needed if we want to do interesting things. Without fear, everything will be boring, and creativity will not spark. 

So, let your creativity and fear co-exist. Don’t allow your fear to stop you from discovering your inner treasures. Be courageous enough to explore and enjoy interesting things. Above all, always heed your curiosity despite your fears screaming out loud.

Actions to take

Give Yourself Permission to Live a Creative Life

“Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself.”

Many of us are scared of pursuing our passions or following our curiosities for some reason. Perhaps, one of them is because we think we need someone’s permission first to do so. Another would be because we’re afraid we lack the skills or talent to be creative. On top of these reasons, there is something important we need to know.

The truth is, you do not actually need anybody’s permission to be creative. This means that following your passions or curiosity is entirely your choice. So, start believing that you are a creative person and that creativity is not only for a chosen few. 

Then, take action. Pursue what you want to do even if you start from zero. Let go of your doubts and just start creating. Look for someone who can inspire you and learn from them. You can also go out and connect to people who have a similar passion to you. In doing so, you’ll be surprised at how these little ways could help you improve and be the best creator you can be.

Actions to take

Let Enchanting Ideas Come And Go

“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.”

Over the years, we used to think that only humans, animals, plants, and other living things lived in our world. Unbeknownst to us, there is another life form that has long been surrounding us. These are ideas. While they don’t have a material body and are completely distinct, they can interact with us. 

Ideas usually spend all their time traveling to look for the right person to bring them to life. They will visit us when we are the most available person for them. They will try to get our attention even if we often fail to notice them due to being too occupied with our own agendas.  

However, when we are relaxed, the magic happens. We will start to recognize those ideas. Then, they will ask us if we want to work with them. As humans, we have the power whether to say yes to them or not.

Saying yes to ideas means fully committing to cooperate with them until the work is done. The best way to do this is to welcome those ideas with joy, curiosity, and respect. Let yourself be driven by inspiration while living a creative life. This is a far better and a different approach than being a tormented artist.

Alternatively, saying no to ideas means sending them away and letting others work with them instead. By doing so, we will not be bothered by those ideas anymore. Until then, we just have to wait for the next idea to which we can finally say yes to.

There are also instances when some ideas just go away. This occurs when they are left unattended for long. Then, as we go back to work on it, we will just be stuck and feel unable to keep the work flowing no matter what. 

In this case, the best thing to do is to let those ideas go and move on. Time will come, and the next idea will again arrive. We just have to make sure that we will not miss out on them again.

Actions to take

Be Persistent Even When Things Get Tough

“Learning how to endure your disappointment and frustration is part of the job of a creative person.”

In our creative journey, it is normal to be frustrated along the way. This usually happens when we fail to meet our expectations on our creative output. It could also be when we’re experiencing creative blocks while working on a project. Regardless of our reasons, we can’t deny that frustration can often make us demotivated. However, this is always a part of the process. As creative people, it’s our job to be persistent and not let these frustrations stop us from living creatively.

The primary step is to take a vow and pledge to continue living a creative life despite struggles and frustrations. It means eating all the parts of the shit sandwich that comes with it. This shit sandwich represents the hardships and challenges that you may experience along the way. If you’re willing to endure and sacrifice everything for your passion, then you’re pursuing the right thing.

Once you’re sure of your creative path, it is now the time to take action. See yourself as someone who’s having an affair with creativity. This way, you will push yourself to do anything just to find time to see and make out with it regardless of the risks. Then, once you’re all alone with creativity, make the most out of it. 

Now, there will be moments when it seems like creativity is hiding from you. This happens when you experience creative block while working on a project. In this case, the power of seduction works best. This can be done by dressing up and designing your workspace into something attractive. This way, your creativity will be convinced to come back and work with you again. Thus making you more enthusiastic, passionate, and inspired towards living a creative life.

Actions to take

Trust Where Your Creativity And Curiosity Could Lead You

"Fierce trust asks you to stand strong within this truth: 'You are worthy, dear one, regardless of the outcome. You will keep making your work, regardless of the outcome. You will keep sharing your work, regardless of the outcome. You were born to create, regardless of the outcome. You will never lose trust in the creative process, even when you don't understand the outcome."

Many artists keep working on their craft even they get little to no reward. They do it because they love it, and they trust it loves them back. By believing that you and your creativity have mutual feelings for each other, you'll be more inspired to live a creative life. 

This inspiration can be fueled more by adapting the trickster energy towards creative work. This is when you choose to be an artist who enjoys the process rather than a martyr who lives in pain. Sure, some artists created masterpieces out of dread, anguish, and pain. But those are also the same artists who were killed by their creativity. 

So if you want a simple but joyous creative life, be a trickster. Tricksters know how to have fun and be playful. They know how to appreciate their creativity no matter what. They also know how to trust. They believe in themselves, their abilities, and the notion that the world is always playing with them, so they keep playing along. 

Beyond being a trickster, allow yourself also to explore a broader view of the creative realms. Open your mind to the limitless possibilities that surround you. This is perfect, especially for the people who don't have a clear passion or need an escape from it. So just let yourself be curious and find something that interests you. Follow it, and trust where it will lead you.

Remind yourself that there is nothing more beautiful than going on a path driven by curiosity and creativity. You may not know yet where it is headed. Still, you will surely feel fulfilled for trying and believing that living a creative life doesn't have to be certain because the mysteries behind it make life exciting. So embrace them. Trust in the unknown, the uncertainties, and the big magic encircling us. Let yourself be amazed by its wonders, for it will always head you to a splendid, artistic, and beautiful life you could never imagine.

Actions to take

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