“Recognizing that people’s reactions don’t belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you’ve created, terrific. If people ignore what you’ve created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you’ve created, don’t sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.”
These words from Gilbert’s book made a very deep impact on my mind when I read it a couple of months ago. Gifted by a blogger friend, the book found its way into my lap one rainy afternoon which turned out to be a perfect way to spend a cosy Sunday. By evening, I had no intention of putting the book down even for the night.
In fact, Gilbert’s words resonated with me so much that I bookmarked quite a few passages in the book to read later. Her wisdom on how to approach the creative process with fearlessness and persistence spoke to the writer in me (if I may call myself one!) I learnt how some fears are actually good for us, and some failures work to our advantage but one very important lesson that came from her book was how passion outweighs consistency in more ways than one, leading us to the big magic of creative living.
What is wonderful about the book is the way it describes creative ideas in a completely different light from what I’ve ever come across earlier. Ideas, according to Gilbert, hover around us, looking for a place to lodge themselves; perhaps, to find a home where they’ll find sustenance. And, if, for some reason, we refrain from letting them in, these ideas start looking for another home elsewhere.
What a beautiful thought is that! I know I’ll be reading many more books on creativity in the coming years, but these lines from this book, will always remain a special favourite.
Have you read the Big Magic? Would you agree or disagree with Elizabeth Gilbert’s words?
Linking this with Tulika’s #BookBytes post where you can share a quote, a line (or two) or even a passage from a book that leaps out at you demanding to be shared. #BookBytes goes live every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month.