In last week’s post I wrote about BIG MAGIC: creative living beyond fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert—I basically just categorize thirteen of my favorite snippets from parts, “courage” and “enchantment,” in Mrs. Gilbert’s magical book.
BIG MAGIC is, so far, my favorite out of all of Elizabeth Gilbert’s books.
I read it a handful of times and now I am called to do this. Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert* for the courage and diligence that it took to unleash BIG MAGIC upon us.
Favorite snippets from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, PART II (14-29)
permission & persistence:
14. “The poet David Whyte calls this sense of creative entitlement ‘the arrogance of belonging,’ and claims that it is an absolutely vital privilege to cultivate if you wish to interact more vividly with life. Without this arrogance of belonging, you will never be able to take any creative risks whatsoever. Without it, you will never push yourself out of the suffocating insulation of personal safety and into the frontiers of the beautiful and unexpected.”
15. “Speak it. Let it know you’re there. Hell, let YOU know you’re there—because this statement of intent is just as much an announcement to yourself as it is an announcement to the universe or anybody else. Hearing this announcement, your soul will mobilize accordingly. It will mobilize ecstatically, intact, because this is what your soul was born for. (Trust me, your soul has been waiting for you to wake up to your own existence for years.)”
16. “Just say what you want to say, then say it with all your heart. Share whatever you are driven to share.”
17. “I once wrote a book in order to save myself. I wrote a travel memoir in order to make sense of my own journey and emotional confusion.“
18. “I sent my work out to publications, and I collected rejection letters in return. I kept up with writing, despite the rejections. I labored over my short stories alone in my bedroom—and also on train stations, in stairwells, in libraries, in public parks, and in the apartments of various friends, boyfriends, and relatives. I send more and more work out. I was rejected, rejected, rejected, rejected. I disliked the rejection letters. Who would’t? But I took the long view: my intentions was to spend my entire life in communion with writing, period.“
19. “I told the universe (and anyone who would listen) that I was committed to living a creative life not in order to save the world, not as an act of protest, not to become famous, not to gain entrance to the canon, not to challenge the system, not to show the bastards, not to prove to my family that I was worthy, not as a form of deep therapeutic emotional catharsis…but simply because I liked it.”
20. “Best of all, though, by saying that you delight in your work, you will draw inspiration near. Inspiration will be grateful to hear those words coming out of your mouth, because inspiration—like all of us—appreciates being appreciated. Inspiration will overhear your pleasure, and it will send ideas to your door as a reward for your enthusiasm and your loyalty.”
21. “Just keep doing your thing.“
22. “because of my deep and lifelong conviction that the results of my work don’t have much to do with me. I can only be in charge of producing the work itself.”
23. “He used to suffer and anguish over losings songs, he said, but now he trusts. If a song is serious about being born, he trust that it will come to him in the right manner, at the right time.“
24. “I simply vowed to the universe that I would write forever, regardless of the result. I promised that I would try to be brave about it, and grateful, and as uncomplaining as I could possibly be. I also promised that I would never ask writing to take care of me financially, but that I would always talk care of it— meaning that I would always support us both, but any means necessary. I did not ask for any external rewards for my devotion; I just wanted to spend my life as near to writing as possible—forever close to that source of all my curiosity and contentment—and so I was willing got make whatever arrangements needed to be made in order to get by.”
25. “But I remember thinking that learning how to endure your disappointment and frustration is part of the job of a creative person. If you want to be an artist of any sort, it seemed to me, then handling your frustration is a fundamental aspect of the work—perhaps the single most fundamental aspect of the work. Frustration is not an interruption of your process, frustration is the process.”
26. “People don’t do this kind of thing because they have all kinds of extra time and energy for it; they do this kind of thing because their creativity matters to them enough that they are willing to make all kinds of extra sacrifices for it.“
27. “Possessing a creative mind, after all, is like having a border collie for a pet: It needs work, or else it will cause you an outrageous amount of trouble. Give your mind a job to do, or else it will find a job to do, and you might not like the job it invents…”
28. “I saw it proof that you must never surrender, that no doesn’t always mean no, and that miraculous turns of fate can happen to those who persist in showing up.“
29. “Well, then, [person], I’m afraid you will have notice but to persevere.“
I hope that you enjoyed part II of my favorite snippets from Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert,” part one is available here.
*clicking on “Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert” will redirect you out of this website and into Elizabeth Gilbert’s website—it’s good practice to always check the validity of the sites you visit, and to learn about who makes the things that you consume.