#EntrepreneursBookClub: Big Magic

"Most of all—trust that if you make enough of a glorious commotion, eventually inspiration will find its way home to you again."

-Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert has a fascinating idea: That ideas themselves are alive, bouncing through our spaces like kinetic energy and they choose who to seek and where to land based on our own energy, and our own ability to accept them in, nourish them, and make something of them.

“Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. 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.”

Her book weaves stories about her own journey as a writer and creative into powerful statements and observations about the culture around creativity and how we need not be a tortured artist, to put forth brilliant work.

She coaches readers on the emotions tied to fear, excitement, distraction, expression, perfectionism and more. If you are a creator in any way, and surely all of us are, this is a book to simultaneously soothe you and give you a kick in the pants about your art.

5 Key Takeaways

1. Inspiration will come and go, it can’t be forced and it can’t always be harnessed. Use it when it’s there, never taking the moments for granted, keeping your mind free from distraction. “this is the other side of the contract with creativity: If inspiration is allowed to unexpectedly enter you, it is also allowed to unexpectedly exit you.”

2. If you want to create, you have to be willing and ready to take risks. You have to be ready to be shut out, and shut down. You have to be resilient and you have to be tough. “You must be willing to take risks if you want to live a creative existence.”

3. There is no such thing as a creative person, or a non-creative person. “The essential ingredients for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust—and those elements are universally accessible.”

4. In feeling not enough, we often blow up our own projects before they have time to hit the paper. We must allow ourselves the space to fail, to risk, to create.

It’s a commitment to curiosity that breeds success-- not perfectionism.

5. “Curiosity is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end.” “The most evil trick about perfectionism, though, is that it disguises itself as a virtue.”

About the Author

Elizabeth Gilbert is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and several other internationally bestselling books of fiction and nonfiction. Gilbert began her career writing for Harper's Bazaar, Spin, The New York Times Magazine and GQ, and was a three-time finalist for the National Magazine Award. Her story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award; The Last American Man was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. The follow-up memoir Committed became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. Her latest novel, The Signature of All Things, was named a Best Book of 2013 by The New York Times, O Magazine, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and The New Yorker. Gilbert’s short fiction has appeared in Esquire, Story, One Story, and the Paris Review. From www.amazon.com