P.S. Make sure you grab the Big Magic Action Plan to put all of Lizzy G’s insights to use in your own life! (yes, I did just give her that horribly corny nickname. Whatchu gon do about it?)
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DEALING WITH FEAR
“Be brave. Without bravery you will never know the world as richly as it longs to be known. Without bravery, your life will remain small - far smaller than you probably wanted your life to be.”
“If you can’t learn to travel comfortably alongside your fear, then you’ll never be able to go anywhere interesting or do anything interesting.”
“Argue for your limitations, and you get to keep them.”
“Fear is always triggered by creativity, because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome, and fear hates uncertain outcome. This is nothing to be ashamed of. It is, however, something to be dealt with. “
“You must be willing to take risks if you want to live a creative existence.”
“I think perfectionism is just a high-end, haute couture version of fear… Because underneath that shiny veneer, perfectionism is nothing more than a deep existential angst that says, again and again, “I am not good enough and I will never be good enough.”
“It seems to me that my fear and my creativity are basically conjoined twins - as evidenced by the fact that creativity cannot take a single step forward without fear marching right alongside it… This is why we have to be careful of how we handle our fear - because I’ve noticed that when people try to kill off their fear, they often end up inadvertently murdering their creativity in the process.. It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back.”
“We must understand that the drive for perfectionism is a corrosive waste of time, because nothing is every beyond criticism.”
“I have never created anything in my life that did not make me feel, at some point or another, like I was the guy who just walked into a fancy ball wearing a homemade lobster costume.”
INSPIRATION AND IDEAS
“One of the oldest and most generous tricks that the universe plays on human beings is to bury strange jewels within us all, and then stand back to see if we can ever find them.”
“You have extraordinary treasures hidden within you. Bringing forth those treasures takes work and faith and focus and courage and hours of devotion. We simply do not have time anymore to think so small.”
“Most of all, be ready. Keep your eyes open. Listen. Follow your curiosity. Ask questions. Sniff around. Remain open. Trust in the miraculous truth that new and marvelous ideas are looking for human collaborators every single day.”
“Passion can seem intimidatingly out of reach at times - a distant tower of flame, accessible only to geniuses, and to those who are specially touched by God. But curiosity is available to everyone.”
“Inspiration is always trying to work with me.
So I sit there and I work, too.
That’s the deal.
I trust it; it trusts me.”
“In the end, creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience.”
“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.”
“All I know for certain is that this is how I want to spend my life - collaborating with the best of my ability with the forces of inspiration that I can neither see, nor prove, nor command, nor understand.
It’s a strange line of work, admittedly.
I cannot think of a better way to pass my days.”
"If I am not actively creating something, then chances are I am probably actively destroying something - myself, a relationship, or my own peace of mind."
“A creative life is the most marvelous life there is.”
“In fact, I didn’t put any conditions on my path at all. My deadline was: never… I just wanted to spend my life as near writing as possible - forever close to that source of all my curiosity and contentment - and so I was willing to make whatever arrangements needed to be made in order to get by.”
“My 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).”
“But to yell at your creativity, saying “You must earn money for me!” is sort of like yelling at a cat; it has no idea what you’re talking about and all you’re doing is scaring it away, because you’re making really loud noises and your face looks weird when you do that.”
GIVING YOURSELF PERMISSION
“I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own bullshit”
“Who do I think I am? I’ll tell you who I am: I am a child of God, just like anyone else. I am a constituent of this universe. I have a right to collaborate with creativity, because I myself am a product and a consequence of creation.”
“You will never be able to create anything interesting out of your life if you don’t believe that you are entitled to at least try.”
“You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.”
“Defending yourself as a creative person begins by defining yourself. It begins when you declare your intent. Stand up tall and say it aloud, whatever it is:
I’m a _____
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.”
DEALING WITH CRITICISM
“If people don’t like what you’re creating, just smile at them sweetly and tell them to go make their own fucking art.”
“Let people have their opinions. More than that - let people be in love with 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.”
“Speak to your darkest and most negative interior voices the way a hostage negotiator speaks to a violent psychopath: calmly, but firmly. Most of all, never back down. You cannot afford to back down. The life you are negotiating to save, after all, is your own.”
“You are free because everyone is too busy fussing over themselves to worry all that much about you.
Go be whoever you want to be then.
Do whatever you want to do."
TAKING THE PLUNGE
"Most things have already been done - but they have not yet been done by you."
"If you’re alive, you’re a creative person"
"Just say what you want to say, and then say it with all your heart.
Share whatever you are driven to share."
"You are not required to save the world with your creativity."
“The sooner and more passionately you get married to this idea - that it is ultimately entirely up to you - the better off you’ll be."
"So yeah - here’s a trick: Stop complaining."
"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 will take care of itself.”
"You can start whenever you decide to start."
"The question is 'What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?'
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."
"That’s what you have to do at the beginning: everybody imitates before they can innovate."
“Mere completion is a rather honorable achievement in its own right. What’s more, it’s a rare one. Because the truth of the matter is, most people don’t finish things!
So if you can complete something - merely complete it! - you’re already miles ahead of the pack, right there.”
Now turn that inspiration into action with the
Big Magic Action Plan >>