20 Inspiring Quotes from “Big Magic ” by Elizabeth Gilbert


Elizabeth Gilbert alludes to magic in ‘Big Magic’ in the literal meaning of Hogwarts. She’s talking about the supernatural, mysterious, unexplained, bizarre, divine, sublime, and otherworldly. Because, in reality, she feels that creativity is mystical energy whose roots are not totally human. 

Gilbert thinks that our earth is home to more than just animals, plants, germs, and viruses. Ideas are motivated by a single impulse: to be manifested, and the only way an idea can be manifested is via human actions that escort an idea out of the ether and into the domain of the material. As a result, ideas will spend eternity whirling about us, looking for accessible and willing human mates. When an idea believes it has located someone (like you) who may be able to bring it into the world, it will pay you a visit and try to win your attention. 


Notable quotes

  • “Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”
  • “The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”
  • “Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.”
  • “Recognizing that people’s reactions don’t belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you’ve created, terrific. If people ignore what you’ve created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you’ve created, don’t sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, insult your intelligence, malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.”
  • “A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.”
  • “Done is better than good.”
  • “So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”
  • “It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too.”
  • “Anyhow, the older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days, I’m far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me.”
  • “You’re not required to save the world with your creativity. Your art not only doesn’t have to be original, in other words, it also doesn’t have to be important. For example, whenever anyone tells me that they want to write a book in order to help other people I always think ‘Oh, please don’t. Please don’t try to help me.’ I mean it’s very kind of you to help people, but please don’t make it your sole creative motive because we will feel the weight of your heavy intention, and it will put a strain upon our souls.”
  • “It’s a simple and generous rule of life that whatever you practice, you will improve at.”
  • “What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant?”
  • “But to yell at your creativity, saying, “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about, and all you’re doing is scaring it away because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.”
  • “Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them.”
  • “She said: “We all spend our twenties and thirties trying so hard to be perfect because we’re so worried about what people will think of us. Then we get into our forties and fifties, and we finally start to be free, because we decide that we don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of us. But you won’t be completely free until you reach your sixties and seventies, when you finally realize this liberating truth—nobody was ever thinking about you, anyhow.”
  • “perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat,”
  • “Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously, and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. Only when we are at our most playful can divinity finally get serious with us. Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise—you can make anything. So please calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”
  • “Own your disappointment, acknowledge it for what it is, and move on.”
  • “living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”
  • “If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.”