Big Magic was my Christmas present to myself and the first book I read to kick off my 2016 reading list.
The more I live, the more I embrace my creative side and appreciate all things creativity. So I was excited to read this book. While I don’t agree with all of Liz’s views, I respect them and many of her pieces of advice resonated with me. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but the insights I got from it were definitely worth it.
I love her segments with stories and wisdom. They make it easy to capture a lesson and find it again. Here are the ones that spoke to me most:
An amplified existence
This story of a woman skating because it made her feel alive and ageless encouraged me to do those things that make me feel alive and ageless. These sparks are where I meet beauty and transcendence, so I shouldn’t feel guilty about them, but appreciate them. The woman didn’t quit her job or become a champion, but she got up early three days a week for the beauty and transcendence. That’s how I want to spend my days: living creatively.
The road trip
Make room for both fear and creativity but never let fear navigate or drive. I’m no longer trying to get rid of fear but simply acknowledging that it is there, and then keeping on going. Keep on creating.
Originality vs authenticity
If it’s authentic enough, it will feel original. So stop trying to copy other people and don’t worry about doing something new. Just be yourself and express it. I trust that this is enough and that’s what will speak to people.
Write for you. Don’t write to save the world or to help someone. Write first and foremost for you and what you get out of it. Trust that people get something from us when we create what we want to create.
The Fat Kids
I’m okay with being a nobody because I’m happy spending my days doing what I love.
Don’t worry about creating great art. Create honest art. I don’t want to be a great writer; I just want to be an honest writer. Stay true to you and do the work of creating whatever is inside you.
Fun House Mirrors
My job is to create. That’s all. I don’t get to control how people respond to my work, so stop worrying about their opinions.
Tom Waits Chimes In
Creating doesn’t have to be painful. It can be fun. If it’s ready, it will come out. If it isn’t, let it go.
The only thing we can control is doing the work. Don’t worry about being great. It’s not our job to be great, but to create. Vow to write no matter what.
Your Day Job
Don’t put pressure on your writing and expect it to pay the bills. Have a job and let it support you and your writing.
It Ain’t Your Baby
My writing creates me, shapes me, brings me into being.
Passion Vs Creativity
Just follow what interests you. You’ll enjoy it. Sparks. Don’t put pressure on it to be great, just go where it leads you, and if it leads you to greatness, that’s a bonus.
The ego wants reward. The soul wants wonder. Don’t feed the ego. Feed the soul. Don’t worry about failure, just follow wonder. Creating is the reward.
Put your creations out there and trust not that you will be a success but that no matter what happens you will create.
You may have created a lobster costume and walked into a ball where everyone is dressed elegantly. But show it off. Don’t apologise or be ashamed of it. They may reject you or embrace you, but it doesn’t matter. It only matters that you own it what you create.
This last insight was the biggest one for me. The main message I got from the book is to create because you love it, and I’ve already come to that point in my life. Now the book has encouraged me to get my creations out there and not worry how people respond. Then get back to creating.