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Big Magic Summary


Elizabeth Gilbert, an American author, best known for publishing the international bestseller book Eat Pray Love in 2006 that spent almost 200 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list — sold over 12 million copies and translated into 30 languages — and become a movie with the same name in 2010.

Simple Short Summary: Ideas exist on our planet, and they revolve around searching for willing human partners to collaborate and come into existence, in the quiet moment, an idea asks you to work with him, and if you are open and receptive, you may listen the whisper.

(Reading Time: 5 minutes)

Big Magic Summary

Eat Pray Love is Gilbert story of the year she spent traveling the world to overcome deep depression and divorce to find devotion, enlightenment, happiness, and pleasure.

She travels to Italy, where she focuses on food, India, where she focuses on spirituality and Indonesia. She also falls in love again with the guy in Bali.

However, Big magic is a non-fiction book that describes her creative process which doesn’t necessarily mean “pursuing a life that is professionally devoted to the art,” but “living a life that drives by curiosity not by fear”.

In this summary, you will learn three lessons.

1. Ideas are all Around us and Searching for Human Partners

Elizabeth believes that our planet is inhabited not only by animals, bacteria, plants, and viruses but also by ideas whereas ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and certainly have a will. Ideas have will that need human collaboration and revolve around searching for willing human partners to work with them to come into existence.

Ideas can interact with humans to manifest but through human efforts — they grow and mature as you collaborate with them and become even better.

When an idea revolves around you and thinks it finds its partner to collaborate and bring into existence. The idea visits you and tries to wave you down, maybe for a few months or for a few years to get your attention.

When an idea realizes that you are uninformed by its message and even don’t pay attention, it will move on to someone else’s. Ignoring an idea, it will leave you while mistreating it, you will risk your reputation and no idea will ever collaborate with you again.

Rhonda Byrne’s in her book, the secret, also talks about the law of attraction in which an idea delivers to a human in the state of mind when he is open and receptive because you receive the vibes whatever you put out in the universe.

You will never sense the message of the idea when you aren’t open mind to inspiration, and you might miss the signal because you consume by life anxieties, distractions, frustration, insecurities, and problems.

Sometimes, a day comes when you are opened and relaxed, and your defense might feeble, and your anxiety might at ease. The idea senses your openness and whispers to you.

2. how you feel when you interact with an idea

When an idea visits you, goosebumps arise in your hand. You start to notice all signs pointing towards the idea— the idea won’t leave you alone until it has your fullest attention, and in the quiet moment, it whispers to you, would you like to work with me?

Now, you have two ways to respond. Either you can say yes or you can say no.

You nod your head for collaboration, a big yes.

You officially agree, a contract with inspiration, and now you are responsible for the execution of the idea. It’s no longer an idea because it becomes your responsibility, your goal, to manifest the idea into existence.

Saying Yes, never means you are free because you have to work every day, but wait, what if you don’t pay attention? Ideas will move on to someone else’s because you don’t give attention which is what most self-respecting living entities would do in the same circumstance.

Fair enough right? If inspiration enters unexpectedly, it also exits unexpectedly.

This is the other side of the contract with creativity, and you merely blame anyone because you break the contract. The second way you can respond to the idea is to drop your head down in defeat, a no no.

Now, the idea will go away in search of another human for collaboration, and you don’t need to bother yourself about anything now.

Thus, you can politely decline the offer’s collaboration or you can say yes to enter into the contract it is up to you.

3. Idea to Execution overcoming fear

Elizabeth explains the divine relationship between human beings and the mysteries of inspiration. You need to overcome your fear by permitting yourself to create something new from scratch.

Creativity lives inside you, and you should express it to live a satisfying life. As a human being, creativity is your birthright, and even if you grow up watching cartoons, creativity still lurks within you.

Although, the hardest part of living creativity life is to handle rejection, doubt and keep doing your work. You have to work even if inspiration doesn’t visit you because this is the way you show openness to the universe.

Each day, you sit down and produce the work. So, do you have the courage to bring jewels inside of you?

Find a way to coexist creativity and fear while bringing your work into the world because if you want creativity in your life then you have to make room for fear too. Signing up for creativity, you activate fear and also sign up for uncertainty, and in this way, your art gets mature on every creative project.

Killing your fear and you kill your creativity too, thus going on a journey with creativity, fear will arrive too. Hence, before fear even gets in the car make few non-negotiable rules.

Fear will never step into the driver’s seat and even not allow to offer a suggestion, and it will never interfere with creativity’s leadership. It just sits on the back seat twiddling its thumbs in silence.


The goal is to create a life that drives by curiosity instead of fear. It is difficult to start from scratch. If it isn’t difficult, everyone would do it and it wouldn’t be special anymore.

Have a day job to pay your bills gives you the freedom to practice your art guilt-free and fuel your creativity because the stress of paying bills with your art often kills your creativity.

Maintain an alternative income stream will keep your creativity free so you can give time and space when inspiration isn’t flowing.

Favorite Quote From The Book

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. ― Elizabeth Gilbert

You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures. ― Elizabeth Gilbert

Done is better than good. ― Elizabeth Gilbert

Key Takeaway:

  • Ideas revolve and search for willing human partners to work with and come into existence.
  • Always prepare yourself, an idea unexpectedly comes and asks you to work with him.
  • Have a side income so that you don’t depend on your art to pay your bills in the beginning.

You may also like:

The Miracle Morning Summary.
The Secret Summary.
Making Ideas Happen Summary.