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12 Quotes To Live By From “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic is one of my favorite books for living creatively that I’ve ever read. It’s a book I go back to time and time again (like You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero) because it helps me refocus on what really matters when creating and brings me a new perspective on why I do what I do.

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The book is full of nuggets of wisdom that can be valuable to non-creatives, too. Below are 12 of my favorite quotes from the book, paragraphs I’ve highlighted and starred, and general wisdom I think everyone can take something away from:

  1. “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–continuously and stubbornly bringing for the jewels that are hidden within you–is a fine art, in and of itself.”
  2. “The Romans didn’t believe that an exceptionally gifted person was a genius; they believe that an exceptionally gifted person had a genius.”
  3. “You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”
  4. “It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “When I refer to ‘creative living,’ I am speaking more broadly. I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”
  7. “What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant?”
  8. “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.”
  9. “Done is better than good.”
  10. “It might have been done before, but it hasn’t been done by you!”
  11. “Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself.”
  12. “Your life is short and rare and amazing and miraculous, and you want to do really interesting things and make really interesting things while you’re still here.”

Have you read Big Magic? Will you pick it up in the future? I would love to hear your thoughts or your favorite part of the book!

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.