Big Magic - by Elizabeth Gilbert

my notes:

He became a poet the way other men become monks: as a devotional practice, as an act of love, and as a lifelong commitment to the search for grace and transcendence. 

Experience has taught me to be careful of meeting my heroes in person; it can be terribly disappointing.

As an adult, she finally had there perspective to appreciate the value of her own joy.

All the good ideas feel daunting at first.

Human beings have been creative beings for a really long time - long enough and consistently enough that it appears to be a totally natural impulse. 

Share whatever you are driven to share. If it’s authentic enough, it will feel original.

Four Reasons to Stop complaining:
  1. It’s annoying.
  2. Of course it’s difficult to create things.
  3. Nobody ever really listens to anybody else’s complaints.
  4. You’re scaring away inspiration.

Whether you think you’re brilliant or you think you’re a loser, just make whatever you need to make and toss it out there.

“Some songs just aren’t serious about wanting to be born yet. They only want to annoy you, and waste your time, and hog your attention.”

“I realized that, as a songwriter, the only thing I really do is make jewelry for the inside of people’s minds.”

Everybody imitates before they can innovate.

I could almost feel my perspective expanding, as if my mind were being ratcheted open several notches and was now welcoming in all sorts of new possibilities for what life could look like.

If you devote yourself to anything diligently for ten years, that will make you an expert. (That’s the time it would take to earn two master’s degrees and a doctorate.)

The most important benefit of my years of disciplined, solitary work was that I began to recognize the emotional patterns of creativity - or, rather, MY patterns.

Frustration is not an interruption of your process, frustration IS the process.

I’ve watched so many other people murder their creativity by demanding that their art pay the bills.

For most of human history, the vast majority of people have made their art in stolen moments, using scraps of borrowed time - and often using pilfered or discarded materials to boot.

The most evil trick about perfectionism, is that it disguises itself as a virtue.

The only piece I had any control over was my discipline.

Our creativity grows like sidewalk weeds out of the cracks between our pathologies - not from the pathologies themselves.

Trick the process.

What you produce is not necessarily always sacred just because you think it’s sacred. What IS sacred is the time you spend working on the project, and what that time does to expand your imagination, and what that expanded imagination does to transform your life.

Your creative work is not your baby; if anything, you are ITS baby.

Curiosity only ever asks one simple question: “is there ANYTHING you’re interested it?”

You might think that it’s procrastination, but with the right intention, it isn’t. It’s motion. And any motion whatsoever beats inertia, because inspiration will always be drawn to motion.

What would you do even if you knew that you might very well fail?