Tiny Lessons: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

  • Creativity is a relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.
  • The Universe buries strange jewels deep inside of us and then stands back to see if we can find them.
  • Mother who wasn’t having a minute of her drama – ‘argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.’
  • Fear, fame, etc. anything will become boring when you have too much of it. If I relax my fear will relax, so I make space for it.
  • Ideas are seeking to be made manifest, you’ve got to catch them when they come to you.
  • The tormented artist, suffering for your art, is such a harmful idea and concept. Your work loves you back, don’t fetishize your suffering or artistic martyrdom.
  • Measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes and failures.
  • Ancient concept of genius was something you had, a being with you, not that you were a genius yourself. Remove the identity and the pressure.
  • Harper Lee – only wrote one book. Wished she’d write a light romance, a police procedural, a children’s story, a cookbook, some kind of pulpy action-adventure story, anything. Keep the ideas flowing don’t get trapped by your success or pigeon-holed.
  • Permission slip – just make stuff, don’t make such a big deal out of it. Whether I am touched by grace or not, I thank creativity for allowing me to engage with it at all. There are no chosen few, we are all the chosen few.
  • Her friend – My tattoos are permanent, it’s my body that’s temporary. Decorate myself as playfully as I can while I still have time.
  • Don’t worry about being original. Share what you’re driven to share. If it’s authentic enough, it will feel original.
  • Write for yourself, not to help others. It’s okay if your work is fun for you, healing for you. There is no love that does not become help.
  • To critics – go make your own fucking art.
  • Art is magnificent because it’s not essential. It’s not a post-apocalyptic world, low stakes. Fate of nations does not depend on my ego. Jewelry for the inside of people’s minds.
  • Winifred – in her 80s, an expert on Mesopotamia. Learned and explored and didn’t start until late in life. Education is never over. What do you want to learn by your 80s?
  • Shit sandwich – every pursuit has good and bad, which one do you love enough to tolerate the shit sandwich?
  • Learn the stages of your own creative process. This is the part where I xyz, I always have to x before I feel better.
  • Be childlike, not childish.
  • The process of having made/finished something will transform you.
  • Have an affair with your creativity, sneak off to see it if you feel like you don’t have time.
  • Done is better than good. Refused to go to my grave with 75 pages of a manuscript in my desk drawer. Didn’t want to be that person. Most people don’t finish, so if you do you’re already miles ahead of the game.
  • Life is short and should be enjoyed, if your art doesn’t bring you joy – don’t do it! But if it keeps coming up it means you should try.
  • Martyr vs. trickster. Trust that the Universe wants to play with you. It’s all just a game. You don’t have to create from a dark and heavy place.
  • Follow your curiosity not your passion, don’t put so much stock in making a big deal out of everything write away. Things make sense in hindsight. What are you interested in, even a little bit? Botany, gardening lead to Signature of All Things.
  • Soul > ego. Don’t dwell on your failures, just keep going.
  • Failure has a function, it asks you whether you really want to go on making things. Love what you’re doing so much that success or failure become irrelevant.
  • The Court Lobster – you made it, you get to put it out there. Never apologize, never explain it away, never be ashamed of it. Don’t miss the party.
  • We are terrified and we are brave. Creativity is sacred and not sacred. What we do matters a whole lot and not at all. Only when we are most playful will divinity finally get serious with us. Calm down now and get back to work. The treasures hidden inside of you are hoping you will say Yes!