“Q: What is creativity?
A: The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.”
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
When I was a little girl, I secretly used to play with my mother´s make-up, clothes and shoes. There were no better toys for me than in the closet of my mom. The years passed by and my love for fashion and make-up only grew stronger. But after I finished high school, I had to choose for a ‘real’ carreer. Fashion was left out of my professional path but never out of my mind. It has been a couple years ago when I decided to so something with that passion of mine, and that´s how I started this blog. This came along with some struggles and lots of fear. Fear of being too old, not good enough, not stylish enough and so on and on. My mind always finds reasons not to do this, but fortunately my love for fashion wins the battle every time. I am still on this journey, some periods are easier than others. To keep my mind fit I like to read books about this topics. During a recent travel I read the book ‘Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear’ – by Elisabeth Gilbert (You might know her from the book Eat, Pray, Love). While reading it I highlighted my favourite quotes and here they are:
1. “Are you considering becoming a creative person? Too late, you already are one. To even call somebody “a creative person” is almost laughably redundant; creativity is the hallmark of our species. We have the sense for it; we have the curiosity for it; we have the opposable thumbs for it; we have the rhythm for it; we have the language and the excitement and the innate connection to divinity for it.
If you’re alive, you’re a creative person. You and I and everyone you know is descended from tens of thousands of years of makers. Decorators, thinkers, storytellers, dancers, explorers, fiddlers, drummers, builders, growers, problem-solvers, and embellishers–these are our common ancestors.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
2. “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 rest of it will take care of itself” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
3. “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.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
4. “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, and insult your intelligence, and 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.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
5. “I made a decision a long time ago that if I want creativity in my life – and I do – then I will have to make space for fear, too.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
6. “Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting—and, may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones who will be making any decisions along the way.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
7. “Perfectionism is a particularly evil lure for women, who, I believe, hold themselves to an even higher standard of performance than do men. There are many reasons why women’s voices and visions are not more widely represented today in creative fields… …Too many women still seem to believe that they are not allowed to put themselves forward at all, until both they and their work are perfect and beyond criticism. ― Elizabeth Gilbert
8. “Pure creativity is something better than a necessity; it´s a gift. Our creativity is a wild and unexpected bonus from the universe. It´s as if all our gods and angels gathered together and said, “It´s tough down here as human being, we know. Here – have some delights.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
9. “It starts by forgetting about perfect. The writer Rebecca Solnit puts it well: “So many of us believe in perfection, which ruins everything else because the perfect is not only the enemy of the good; it’s also the enemy of the realistic, the possible, and the fun… The most evil trick about perfectionism, though, is that it disguises itself as a virtue.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
10. “Take your insecurities and your fears and hold them upside down by their ankles and shake yourself free of all your cumbersome ideas about what your require in order to become creatively legitimate.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
11. “Quit your complaining. It´s not the world´s fault that you wanted to be an artist. It´s not the world´s job to enjoy the films you make, and it´s certainly not the world´s obligation to pay for your dreams. Nobody wants to hear it. Steal a camara if you must, but stop whining ang get back to work” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
12. “You can resist the seductions of grandiosity, blame, and shame. You can support other people in their creative efforts, acknowledging the truth that there’s plenty of room for everyone. You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
13. “As Manson writes with profound wisdom: “Everything sucks, some of the time.” You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much “What are you passionate about?” The question is “What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?” Manson explains it this way: “If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands, of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the eighty-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.” Because if you love and want something enough—whatever it is—then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
14. “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.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
15. “The essential ingredients for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody: Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence, Trust—and those elements are universally accessible. Which does not mean that creative living is always easy; it merely means that creative living is always possible.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
16. “Let people have their opinions. More than that–let people love their opinions, just as you and I are in love with ours. But never delude yourself into believing that you require someone else’s blessing (or even their comprehension) in order to make your own creative work. And always remember that people’s judgments about you are none of your business.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
17. “Genetic randomness had already determined how much talent I’d been allotted, and destiny’s randomness would account for my share of luck. The only piece I had any control over was my discipline. Recognizing that, it seemed like the best plan would be to work my ass off. That was the only card I had to play, so I played it hard.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
18. “Author Martha Beck says of the ego, “Don’t leave home without it.” But do not let your ego totally run the show, or it will shut down the show. Your ego is a wonderful servant, but it’s a terrible master—because the only thing your ego ever wants is reward, reward, and more reward. And since there’s never enough reward to satisfy, your ego will always be disappointed. Left unmanaged, that kind of disappointment will rot you from the inside out. An unchecked ego is what the Buddhists call “a hungry ghost”—forever famished, eternally howling with need and greed. Some version of that hunger dwells within all of us. We all have that lunatic presence, living deep within our guts, that refuses to ever be satisfied with anything. I have it, you have it, we all have it. My saving grace is this, though: I know that I am not only an ego; I am also a soul. And I know that my soul doesn’t care a whit about reward or failure.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
19. “So whenever that brittle voice of dissatisfaction emerges within me, I can say “Ah, my ego! There you are, old friend!” It’s the same thing when I’m being criticized and I notice myself reaching with outrage, heartache, or defensiveness. It’s just my ego, flaring up and testing its power. In such circumstances, I have learned to watch my heated emotions carefully, but I try not to take them too seriously, because I know that it’s merely my ego that has been wounded–never my soul.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
20. “Anyhow, what else are you going to do with your time here on earth—not make things? Not do interesting stuff? Not follow your love and your curiosity?” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
21. “You are worthy, dear one, regardless of the outcome. You will keep making your work, regardless of the outcome. You will keep sharing your work, regardless of the outcome. You were born to create, regardless of the outcome. You will never lose trust in the creative process, even when you don’t understand the outcome.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
22. “I have a friend, an aspiring musician, whose sister said to her one day, quite reasonably, “What happens if you never get anything out of this? What happens if you pursue your passion forever, but success never comes? How will you feel then, having wasted your entire life for nothing?” My friend, with equal reason, replied, “If you can’t see what I’m already getting out of this, then I’ll never be able to explain it to you.” When it’s for love, you will always do it anyhow.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert
I hope you enjoy them and get inspired to read the whole book.
Did you already read the book? How did you like it? Leave the comments below!