Lessons from Big Magic

Big Magic

Big Magic is an amazing book written by one of the most amazing authors I know. It’s written by Elizabeth Gilbert, she’s also the one responsible for Eat, Pray, Love. Let’s get all inspired by this book that deals about the fear of creative living.

MQ Reads: Big Magic

It has been quite some time since I last read a book that is not school-related. To be honest, I learned of this book from one of the creative artists that I admire. Ella Lama shared this book during her Real Talk Tambay last year. It was an event that was composed of artists that just sat down and talked to people who admired them. During that event they shared their incredible journey towards success and failure in the industry.

Success and failure are like conjoined twins. They are intertwined, inseparable and are both great motivators.

Adam, who’s 1/4 of Maarteng Letra attended the first installment of the Real Talk Tambay. It was during the giveaway that day when he won a copy of Big Magic. We learned from that event that the book helped Ella Lama during the dark days.

For an artist, dark days are those similar to what we popularly know as mental block. But, it’s more on the creative side. Another term for it would be a creative block. It’s just more melodramatic if you call it dark days.




Creative Living Beyond Fear

That is actually the tagline of the book, or so I think. But, just as that, it’s quite true. Creative living could be one of the most tedious way of living there is in the world. Being creative and applying it to life can be the most challenging and rewarding thing to do in life. Little did I know that as young as six (6) years old, I was starting to live creatively. How? By Playing the piano, of course.

Gilbert’s love of creativity is infectious, and there’s a lot of great advice in this sunny book.
The Washington Post

There are six (6) parts of the book which are named according to the traits or abstractions that one must have in order to live a creative life. I won’t enumerate these as you need to read the book to know for yourself. One thing’s for sure, by just identifying the six parts you can pretty much see where will the book bring you.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear ft. Ella Lama’s pins

But what really scares us? Is it the consequences that could possibly happen if we make these decisions? I am afraid of getting disappointed and frustrated with the consequences and failure. Fear is quite inevitable in life but sometimes, we need to be braver.

One cannot succeed overnight. It entails hard work, perseverance and the drive to succeed. Without one, you’re in danger.




Lessons I Learned

From experience, Β living a creative life in the Philippines is truly a hard thing to do. First, people will ridicule you and even ask, why are you doing this? Even if you know that you’re doing this for you, they always have something to say. I hate it. The system sucks big time. Hence, we live creatively and uniquely from them. How? It’s vague if I’ll say that just do what you love. However, that’s it.

Do what you love. Work hard to reach for your goals. Never mind the failures or mishaps as long as you learn something from it.

But of course, you cannot just do it in a snap. You have to acquire ideas that will push you to be creative. Once you have those ideas, let its magic do its work. Let it inspire you to create, mold and sculpt your ideas into products or whatever you wish. Make it a motivation to make you a goal digger. Being a creative soul entails a great deal with skills and talents. It also means staying up late at night, letting those ideas go in and out of your mind. So, it’s important to have a journal or a paper or an app that you could use to jot down the ideas.

[Gilbert] shares intimate glimpses into the life of a world-famous creative, complete with bouts of paralyzing fear and frustration, in an attempt to coax the rest of us into walking through the world just a little braver.

Truthfully speaking, these ideas are sometimes like a train. You either are able to catch and ride or just miss it. If you catch it, trust that you will arrive at your destination. Even if there are errors or mishaps along the way, it’s vital to trust yourself that you can do it. If you don’t, it could easily fall apart.

One of the best things that I learned while reading:

Be brave about your ideas and make sure to grab that idea while you still can. It’s hard to learn about it but just eventually let it go. Surely, someone in the universe will catch it.

That is actually in the book. This is only my way of interpreting it. Also, avoiding plagiarism.

There are numerous reasons to just get out in the world and start doing. Even if the people around you do not understand, make them understand. The world is harsh and you are one of the billion people struggling to make a living.

[bctt tweet=”Don’t let others undermine you and what you can do.” username=”Mariaisquixotic”]

Always remember this:

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.




Final Thoughts


Various people are out there in the universe trying to make a mark in the world. I’m sure that you are too. It’s that one struggle that we continuously fight just to make the world a better place. There are a lot who may contradict our principles but, do we need their affirmation just to exist in the world?

This book taught me a lot of things. At first, I was still indifferent to the ideas and statements that the book presented. As I live day by day, the book unraveled itself in front of me. I saw the truth that it presented. To be honest, I was experiencing it day by day but just didn’t notice. Now, I learned a great deal that every hardship we encounter should not be a cry of help. But, it should be a cry for battle. We have our own battles each day and we hardly think of living a life full of meaning. Most of us just simply live.

For the people who drop by this blog, creative or not, I strongly suggest that you read this book. Its magic has made me rethink a lot of stuff in the world. From waking up in the morning to working on the things I like and up until resting.

Just in case you are interested in buying one for yourself, it’s available at National Bookstore (both physical and online) and also at Fully Booked.

Do you now dare to step out of the fear and live creatively?


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  • LaiAriel R. Samangka (Thelittlelai: Beyond limits)
    May 26, 2017 at 6:43 PM

    I haven’t been reading books lately cause of time complications and I admire you for you nevertheless find time to read a book. This book is genuinely inspiring and it transmits a lot positive thoughts. I like how this book reminds us so much about life in general. When I was still young, I’m creative in some ways and has been built up lately. I really have to go over this book if I get the chance. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  • theresa
    May 27, 2017 at 1:00 AM

    In the end, even if people ridicule you on what you are doing, it is always up to you. If you know you’re happy about it then go. Give it a shot. The road may take long and difficult but it’s always worth the try.

  • Meera
    May 27, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Yes, without hard work and effort, nothing pays. Love the quotes you highlighted here. I haven’t read much non fiction, but this book seems very inspirational. I think this book comes as a reminder to do what we love, irrespective of what others think of it. We all need that power. Reading this article itself a magic booster that makes us do better things in our life and succeed. Have a great day! Kudos to the author πŸ™‚

  • Pia
    May 27, 2017 at 11:13 AM

    Love this! And it came in the right time too- like I mentioned in my blog, i went through a period of paralyzing self-doubt, so reading something like this will definitely be good for my spirit. I especially love your thoughts on this. You wrote about it with the conviction of someone who has been following her creative bliss – and I find that pretty inspiring. πŸ™‚

  • SiennyLovesDrawing
    May 27, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    Yes, do what you love! Am just realising the important of it & doing it since last year till current. I find it is really very useful way to appreciate every moment of my life. Honestly very tiring as my schedule just back to back filling with things that I love πŸ˜‰ am enjoying it, very satisfied! Cheers, SiennyLovesDrawing

  • Shai Habon
    May 28, 2017 at 12:08 AM

    I’m a huge fan of Eat, Pray, Love and no doubt, this book is amazing too! I think my best takeaway (just after reading this post) is this – “Be brave about your ideas and make sure to grab that idea while you still can” and certainly, this advice is spot on. I promise I’ll grab a copy asap! Thanks for sharing!

  • Eleanor Llabore
    May 29, 2017 at 8:51 AM

    “There are numerous reasons to just get out in the world and start doing. Even if the people around you do not understand, make them understand. The world is harsh and you are one of the billion people struggling to make a living.’- I love these statements! I always believe in our power to create and manifest amazing things. All we need is faith in God, faith in our own power and determination to make a difference in the world! BIG MAGIC begins when we believe that we are here on earth to create for a BIG purpose.

  • Madz | Mommy N' More
    August 24, 2017 at 4:39 AM

    I haven’t read Big Magic yet but I’m a big fan of Elizabeth Gilbert. I think she made the most impact to me talking on TED about our creative genius. She said that after the success of her book people were concerned that she won’t be able to repeat its success. Despite the pressures and fear, I love that she continues to create beautiful written pieces and is authentic about her life too.

  • Indrani
    December 17, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    Sounds like a good read. Your highlighted points from the book has kindled my interest.
    I agree we must be brave about our ideas and work hard to achieve our goals. Makes life for meaningful.

  • Kylie
    May 16, 2018 at 9:08 AM

    I absolutely adored reading this book and your thoughts on its content! I know for me my biggest challenge is creative living beyond fear. Many people, especially my family, do not understand my passion and driving force to live a creative life and so there is little support. Because I doubt my own abilities it also flows into other elements. My ability to perform well in interviews and to sell my craft when I’m developing a quote. Have you read The Alchemist? I also found it inspiring to continue living creatively.

    Keep up the incredible work, and don’t let the country you limit your ability to thrive. x

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