Book Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert

Take a great and powerful immersion into the concept of creative living and discover the mysterious nature of inspiration within you.

Do you consider yourself a creative person? Are you interested or curious about something, even if it is small or trivial? Ah, another important question: do you want to live creatively, but don't know how yet?

If the answer was no to one of these questions, then get ready! This is the time for you to take a deep dive into the universe of creativity and let inspiration guide you wherever it wants to go.

Also, discover in this summary of the book "Big Magic" by Elizabeth Gilbert 6 premises for you to open up and let your creativity overflow and find the treasures hidden inside you!

The book "Big Magic”

The book "Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear" teaches, through accounts of the author's own life, how curiosity influences a creative life and why giving yourself to what you love is the key to having fullness and courage.

Elizabeth Gilbert divides her 192-page book into six parts: "Courage", "Enchantment", "Allowance", "Persistence", "Trust", and "Divinity.

Who is Elizabeth Gilbert?

Elizabeth M. Gilbert is an American novelist, memoirist, essayist, short story writer, and biographer.

The author is best known for the bestseller "Eat, Pray, Love" (which spawned the movie of the same name in 2010), as well as other books such as "City of Girls," "The Last American Man," and "Pilgrims."

Why read "Big Magic"?

To delve into the big magic present in creativity it is necessary to lose fear and use techniques that stimulate it, so the book is indicated for those who aim to put into practice their creative potential.

The book "Big Magic" also teaches how to harness curiosity to indulge in new things with love. In addition, Elizabeth Gilbert teaches how to find new ideas to deal with the difficulties of work and embark once and for all on something new.

What are the main points of "Big Magic"?

  • Historically, human beings have always been creative and innovative;
  • Curiosity is what drives a creative life;
  • Contrary to popular belief, being creative is not just about dealing in the arts;
  • It is never too late to innovate;
  • There are countless ways to express yourself creatively.

What does it mean to be creative?

Elizabeth Gilbert begins her book "Big Magic" by saying, through question and answer, that creativity is the relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration.

To have more creativity, according to the author, requires a devotional practice, an act of love, and a lifelong commitment to the pursuit of grace and transcendence.

Thus, it is possible to become what inspires your heart and what gives it life.In this sense, the author makes reflections on the relationship between courage and fear and how these factors influence a creative life.


Elizabeth Gilbert invites the reader to answer the central question on which the entire creative life depends:

Do you have the courage to bring out the treasures that are hidden within you?

The search for this treasure is also living creatively, but to do so requires courage.

Without courage it is not possible to realize the vast expanse of one's capabilities or to know the world in a rich way, and life remains small without exploring its full potential.

Elizabeth Gilbert emphasizes that courage is what separates from a mundane life to a more magical life. In this sense, living creatively is a path for courageous people, and that means having a life motivated more by curiosity than by fear.


Some of the infinite fears, according to the book "Big Magic", that may be preventing you from having a more creative life:

  • Fear of not having even one talent;
  • Fear of rejection, criticism, ridicule, misunderstanding, or worse, being ignored;
  • Fear that someone or everyone else has already done it better;
  • Fear of having your idea stolen, so you think it's better to keep it hidden forever;
  • Fear of not being taken seriously;
  • Fear that your dreams will be considered foolish;
  • Fear of being too old or too young to start
  • Fear of not succeeding.

Elizabeth Gilbert says that all of this is very frightening. Fear stagnates a person, makes them focus on their weaknesses, and prevents them from opening up to life and spending time in the state of transcendence that creativity can provide.

Why defend our weaknesses?

Don't want to maintain your limitations, because they will act as a barrier to growth in your life. Instead, believe in your strength and your capabilities.

Don't defend your weaknesses, but seek to strengthen them. In other words, the more you seek to strengthen what is weak, you get more security and less fear because of this development.


For Elizabeth Gilbert, ideas arise as if one were falling in love, being enchanted, or standing on the edge of a cliff, looking at something beautiful and fascinating, but at the same time dangerous. It is a very intense emotional and physiological reaction that can also be defined as inspiration.

Where do ideas come from?

Ideas are based on transcendent, supernatural, mystical, unexplainable, surreal, divine, magical thinking. That is, that which is from another world.

Although she knows that this is not a rational or scientific way of looking at things, Elizabeth Gilbert believes that creativity is a force of enchantment and that its origin is not entirely human.

The author of "Big Magic" also believes that the planet is inhabited by ideas that are an energetic, incorporeal life form. They are separate from people, but capable of interacting with them.

Despite not having a material body, ideas have a consciousness and will of their own. The only way an idea can manifest itself in the world is through human collaboration.

These ideas are of all kinds, for example: artistic, scientific, industrial, commercial, ethical, religious, political. Moreover, ideas arrange coincidences and portents for you to bump into along the way, to keep your interest piqued.


For Elizabeth Gilbert, you don't need anyone's permission or permission to lead a creative life. On the other hand, the author emphasizes that you will never be able to create anything interesting in life if you don't believe you deserve it, or at least try.


The author of "Big Magic" tells that she vowed at a young age that she would never stop writing, regardless of the outcome. She explains that she just wanted to spend the rest of her life closer to writing, that is, to the source of all her curiosity and satisfaction.

On the other hand, this does not mean that if you start your creative activities at a young age it will be too late. In other words, persist in your self-confidence and start giving birth to creativity!


Never retreat in the face of discomfort that may arise during your work, as this will neither help you explore your abilities nor create triggers to explore your creativity.

The author emphasizes that because she trusts love, her desire to collaborate with creativity in the most intimate and free way possible is her greatest personal incentive to fight the pain. Thus, she aims to lead the healthiest and most stable life she can.


Elizabeth Gilbert promises in the book "Big Magic" that you can do anything you want if you make room in your soul for the following paradoxes:

  • Creativity is sacred and at the same time it is not;
  • What you produce does and does not matter;
  • Art is a devastating work and also a privilege
  • Divinity is only taken seriously when one is at his most playful.

Books about Creativity

Walter Isaacson writes the biography of the greatest genius of creativity: "Leonardo da Vinci", pointing him out as one of the most extraordinary figures of all time, who connected art with science and humanities with technology.

Ed Catmull, author of the book "Creativity S.A.", based on his 33-year experience as president of Pixar (the largest animation company in the world), teaches how to make your work environment more creative.

Austin Kleon, finally, in "Steal Like an Artist", tells how to make something authentic based on the ideas of those who inspire you and how to stimulate your creativity by relating to people who support you, adding to your creative process.

How can I live a creative living beyond fear, according to the book "Big Magic"?

  • If you are interested in something, go for it. Don't wait for what you want to fall from the sky;
  • Believe in your capabilities. You can do more than you think;
  • Let inspiration guide you. Then you will do great things;
  • You are already a creative person. Creativity is an inherent condition of the human being;
  • Be satisfied with your progress, even if it is minimal. Remember the story of the hare and the tortoise: slow and steady goes far;
  • You don't have to be perfect: by freeing yourself from the "perfection trap" you become a braver person and realize your dreams without fear;
  • Start wherever you are: more important than dreaming, and better than waiting, is to start now;
  • Choose who you trust: remember that your references have a direct impact on your decision making;
  • Take risks with your ideas: Elizabeth Gilbert says that you can't blame others for making the patent you thought of.

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Book "Big Magic"

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