Continuing with Pattern Observer’s Book Club was really easy since I already was reading the book chosen for February. I’m hoping to develop a regular habit of reading in following the book club (albeit passively). I’m not always participating in the discussions, but I do want to document my reading – part accountability and part sharing of bits that really hit me and I want to remember.

For February we read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and it’s a really easy to read and quick to finish book. I love her stories intertwined with the subject, even though like last month, creative junkies might not find anything new in the discussion of creativity. The concepts and topics are probably forever written about in books, blogs and papers. However, I really like the style of Gilbert’s writing is like her talking to you about this fascinating topic and having a marathon, overnight discussion.

That’s my kind of thing for sure! She’s also opening up to everyone – not just for people who want to go into a creative profession. I like her simple and straightforward tone, very easy to relate to, so I enjoyed reading the book, cover to cover.

BTW, if you are interested you can listen to the book for FREE by signing up with Audible – click this affiliate link to Amazon to get it free.

Here are my highlights while reading the book:

He told them that they must live their most creative lives as a means of fighting back against the ruthless furnace of this world. Most of all, though, he asked his students to be brave. Without bravery, he instructed, they would never be able to realize the vaulting scope of their own capacities.

 

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

 

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to uncover those jewels – that’s creative living.

 

I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.

 

Because in the end, it’s all about the work

 

Because this is the other side of the contract wth creativity: If inspiration is allowed to unexpectedly enter you, it is also allowed to unexpectedly exit you.

 

…the artistic version of multiple discovery – a term used in the scientific community whenever two or more scientists in different parts of the world come up with the same idea at the same time…

 

Most of my writing life consists of nothing more than unglamorous, disciplined labor.

 

The idea of an external genius helps to keep the artist’s ego in check, distancing him somewhat from the burden of taking either full credit or full blame for the outcome of his work.

 

To even call somebody “a creative person” is almost laughably redundant; creativity is the hallmark of our species.

 

…creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that – merely be being here – you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own.

 

No matter how great your teachers may be, and no matter how esteemed your academy’s reputation, eventually you will have to do the work by yourself.

 

In conclusion, then, art is absolutely meaningless. It is, however, also deeply meaningful.

 

Holding yourself together through all the phases of creation is where the real work lies.

 

You must learn how to become a deeply disciplined half-ass.

 

…mere completion is a rather honorable achievement in its own right.

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