Big Magic: Creative Ideas As Entities

The premise of the book, “Big Magic”, is that creative ideas are like separate entities who go around knocking on people’s doors. Most people reject them, but some people actually open their door to let them in. Alas if you ignore them and try to come back to them in a year, it is likely they moved on to another person.

I very much resonate with this because I have long viewed creative inspiration as catching a wave while surfing. If you don’t act fast and catch a wave in the moment, then you loose it and probably won’t get it back. This is why I have pocket paper all the time – so I can record inspiration in the moment. This is also why I honor creative inspiration even if I have to stay up late into the night to get is done, otherwise the next day it might leave me.

I also believe intuition, synchronicity and premonition are also similar to separate entities. The more you honor and acknowledge and work with them the more they flow to you. It is as if the word gets out in the creative magic entity world that you are easy to work with and have an open door.

Dreams are also this way. The more you make a point to remember and record them, the easier they come and the more vivid they become.

This is why it is important to record, acknowledge and work with even small ideas and seemingly inconsequential magic. These small and inconsequential things might be part of larger magic. They might be a single word in a sentence or paragraph of magic. A single word doesn’t hold much weight, but when you begin tying words together they form a larger picture.

Creative ideas and magical happenings are a lot like dreams. If you don’t record them soon after experiencing them, they fade away and cannot be retrieved.

Similarly our memory fades quickly. By keeping record of ideas and magic, it allows you to make meaningful associations even years later as you re-read your record.

How to always be complete (ABC) – especially on projects that can’t be finished in one day.

  • When speaking – especially something which takes time to describe – ask the listener permission to speak so as to not be rushed. Do they have time to listen? Be complete after speaking.
  • Start with a plan – a clear enough plan that anyone can follow it.
  • Always put tools away at the end of the day. Always clean workspace at the end of day.
  • Minimize unnecessary handling of materials. For example, instead of throwing trash in piles, throw directly in garbage.
  • Label, organize and document parts so anyone could continue the project. Keep fasteners in labeled bags.
  • For complex things, document how you go there – especially software like ableton, rhino and video editing. You might forget how you did a complex task when you try it again months or years later. In other words, make a quick reference manual on the steps and tools to complete complex tasks.
  • Contain projects in boxes, files, boundaries or zones. Try to contain project space compactly. For example, car parts be stored in the car. Minimize spread!
  • Minimize distractions and new projects till current projects are completed.
  • However, if multiple projects are in-progress, make sure to regularly acknowledge, communicate and work on these projects; this includes scheduling long blocks of work time to complete.
  • Some longstanding projects which have lost passion can become a drain on resources and attention. Either finish, delegate, sell or just remove from list forever.
  • Keep the whole in mind. Don’t over-develop one area at the expense of others. Imagine a drawing where the whole composition develops over time. Similarly, always consider how one thing relates to other things, especially the whole. What enhances the main vision versus distracts?
  • Allow for spaciousness. Spaciousness of time. Reduction of distraction. Minimization of clutter.
  • Set milestones for large projects.
  • If a project can be completed in one day or weekend, then don’t take longer to finish. Finish project promptly.
  • Anticipate all materials and parts to reduce delays.