Big Magic

Big Magic is the most inspiring book I’ve ever read on creativity. If you’re even remotely interested in this subject, you should check it out.


Big Magic is the most inspiring book I’ve ever read on creativity. It helped me get unstuck in a number of ways and got me excited again about the creative process. If you’re even remotely interested in this subject, you should check it out.

Some highlights:

  • Creativity requires courage. “When courage dies, creativity dies with it.”
  • Fear and creativity don’t mix. Fear rarely has anything helpful to bring to the creative process.
  • Most people go through life saying “no” to creative ideas. They are too busy, too afraid, too full of excuses, too out of touch with their own inner world to actually do something productive with their creative impulses.
  • “A creative life is an amplified life.” It’s one that contributes, not just consumes. You don’t need anyone’s permission to start living a creative life. It’s your birthright as a human being.
  • Your creativity is a blessing, not a curse. It’s a get to, not a have to.
  • Creativity doesn’t have to be a war with art. It’s can be a dance with art. It can be something that is life giving and energizing and beautiful, a way of being instead of yet another battle to fight. It doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. You can be friends with creativity.
  • What if your job was to support creativity instead of placing all of this weight and expectation on it supporting you? Making a living off of creativity is a luxury, not a right. It’s the exception, not the rule.
  • “All the good ideas feel daunting at first.”
  • When you say yes to a creative idea and mean it, you create space in your life for it.
  • Clutter and creativity are not friends.
  • Life gives us creative windows for certain ideas. Sometimes they close slowly; sometimes quickly. If we don’t make the most of an idea, someone else likely will.
  • Most creative work is not glamorous, not does it always feel inspired. It’s just work, but it’s work with a friend.
  • The best creative work flows from love and joy, not fear.
  • “In the end, creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience.”
  • “For most of history people just made things and they didn’t make such a big freaking deal out of it.”
  • “There is no job security in creativity and there never will be.”
  • “Of course it’s difficult to create things. Frustration is not an interruption of your process. Frustration is your process. Learning how to endure your disappointment and frustration is part of the job of a creative person. You don’t just get to leap from bright moment to bright moment.”
  • Yes, people will judge you. But remember: “It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” W.C. Fields
  • If you love the work enough, you can endure all the shit that comes with it.
  • Most people throughout history have made their art in scraps of borrowed time, in spite of the limitations. This is normal.
  • “Perfection is a hamster wheel that will run you to death.”
  • Odds are that if you’re not actively creating something, you’re actively destroying it (whether that’s your health, your opportunities, the people around you, or whatever). Your energy has to go somewhere. 
  • The world actually doesn’t care that much about your art. Most people are just focused on themselves. It’s not like everyone’s waiting around to see what you’ll do next.
  • “A lighthearted process does not necessarily need to result in a lighthearted product.”
  • If you’re always creating with the critic in mind then you’re always enslaved to him.
  • Motion beats inertia and movement trumps inaction.


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