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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Big Magic, Indeed

"The essential elements for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust - and these elements are universally accessible."  Elizabeth Gilbert from "Big Magic" (2015)

Courage: "  ...fear is a desolate boneyard where our dreams go to desiccate in the sun."

Enchantment: "Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest is through collaboration with a human partner."

Permission: " ... creative expression must be the most important thing in the world to me (if I am to live artistically) and it also must not matter at all (if I am to live sanely)."

Persistence: " ... miraculous turns of fate can happen to those who persist in showing up."

Because "Big Magic" is unequivocally the best book I've read about creativity in the past ten years, let me conclude using Elizabeth Gilbert's words. First, the question she poses in her section on the fifth element, trust: "What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success are irrelevant?" I'd love to hear your answer to that.

And finally, a creative credo to carry me the rest of my life: "I thank creativity for having blessed me with a charmed, interesting, passionate existence."


  1. A spiritual shot in the creative arm, as is Neil Gaiman's 2012 commencement address at Philadelphia's University of the Arts.

  2. I love this book and agree it is the best book about creativity. Her theses and descriptions are so true.

    1. Ines; Not at all surprised this book moved you as it did me.