The Artist's Way
The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vital today—or perhaps even more so—than it was when it was first published one decade ago, it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work. In a new introduction to the book, Julia Cameron reflects upon the impact of The Artist’s Way and describes the work she has done during the last decade and the new insights into the creative process that she has gained. Updated and expanded, this anniversary edition reframes The Artist’s Way for a new century.

The Artist's Way Details

TitleThe Artist's Way
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMar 4th, 2002
PublisherTarcherPerigee
ISBN-139781585421466
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Language, Writing, Art, Self Help, Spirituality

The Artist's Way Review

  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    Julia Cameron works my last nerve. She's always talking about looking out at the sun-dappled mesas of New Mexico, or using some other affected, high-falutin' lingo about her gloriously new age, trendy life. Meanwhile, I look out at the cracked concrete of my driveway in the Chicago drizzle and wonder how us normal people ever survived without people like Julia Cameron telling us about their fantastically charmed lives. However, I like the little mind toys in this book. I did the morning pages, a Julia Cameron works my last nerve. She's always talking about looking out at the sun-dappled mesas of New Mexico, or using some other affected, high-falutin' lingo about her gloriously new age, trendy life. Meanwhile, I look out at the cracked concrete of my driveway in the Chicago drizzle and wonder how us normal people ever survived without people like Julia Cameron telling us about their fantastically charmed lives. However, I like the little mind toys in this book. I did the morning pages, and found them interesting. I strolled the aisles of dollar stores and played a bit because of her book, and it was fun. So, she gets two stars. If she were less Baby-Boomer Annoying, she would have gotten more.
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  • Byron
    January 1, 1970
    On the whole, the key to the Artist's Way is selfishness. That is something I fundamentally disagree with. You should not skip your child's soccer game to paint your masterpiece. Your kid is the masterpiece. All of the relationships in your life are masterpieces. I use that as an example but there are other moments in this book where self-indulgence at the expense of others is encouraged. This is loathsome.So why didn't I just give the book and the program a 1-star rating? Because there are some On the whole, the key to the Artist's Way is selfishness. That is something I fundamentally disagree with. You should not skip your child's soccer game to paint your masterpiece. Your kid is the masterpiece. All of the relationships in your life are masterpieces. I use that as an example but there are other moments in this book where self-indulgence at the expense of others is encouraged. This is loathsome.So why didn't I just give the book and the program a 1-star rating? Because there are some very good ideas in there. Namely the morning pages. They grow tedious for me but I do find them effective. Also, I highly recommend taking an hour or two out of your week to have an adventure in the world by yourself. This really is a great way to stimulate your creativity, no matter what your craft is.Overall, if you want to try this program, go for it and recognize which parts do and don't work for you. However, I must warn that there is an ugly side to what Julia Cameron preaches here and I won't endorse that.
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  • Lena
    January 1, 1970
    This is a really difficult book for me to rate. At the time I first read it fifteen years ago, it did wonders to open me up creatively. I was still struggling to slough off some negative parental programming about being a writer, and this book (along with a good friend) helped give me permission to explore that side of myself.Since that time, however, my belief system has changed so radically that I no longer agree with a number of the book’s fundamental premises. For this reason, it would be ha This is a really difficult book for me to rate. At the time I first read it fifteen years ago, it did wonders to open me up creatively. I was still struggling to slough off some negative parental programming about being a writer, and this book (along with a good friend) helped give me permission to explore that side of myself.Since that time, however, my belief system has changed so radically that I no longer agree with a number of the book’s fundamental premises. For this reason, it would be hard for me to recommend it now. I do think it contains some good material in the form of useful exercises and uplifting stories about creative development. But those come with heavy doses of New Age spirituality and recovery beliefs that will likely make the book inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t view the world through that filter.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    Another book that has changed my life! (See also: The Runner's Handbook!) I have started this book many times and not finished my 12-week (or more) commitment, but this time, when I got to the point where I wanted to give up, I kept on going, and let me tell you where I am now, as a result of this:I pitched my memoir to agents in February.I am taking acting lessons.I have started wearing clothes I like every single day!I am planting a garden.I have taken up knitting.I am taking ballet classes.I Another book that has changed my life! (See also: The Runner's Handbook!) I have started this book many times and not finished my 12-week (or more) commitment, but this time, when I got to the point where I wanted to give up, I kept on going, and let me tell you where I am now, as a result of this:I pitched my memoir to agents in February.I am taking acting lessons.I have started wearing clothes I like every single day!I am planting a garden.I have taken up knitting.I am taking ballet classes.I am treating myself to massages, manicures, and trips.I write every single day.I have started working on my memoir again after a long withdrawal period, post-graduation.I am having more fun and playing!I am discovering myself.If you are interested in doing this, please feel free to contact me. I am going through the book again, and I would love to work it with other people!
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  • Jerome
    January 1, 1970
    My New Year's resolution for 1998 was to finally actually DO the Artists' Way. I had given it to several people close to me for the last three holidays, but I had never actually done the process. This is not a book to read. It is a book to do and it promises major life changes in 13 weeks. I was desperate to find a new way to make a living and decided to give this my best shot. 13 weeks later there was no epiphany. I still didn't know where to go, so I started over from the beginning. Two weeks My New Year's resolution for 1998 was to finally actually DO the Artists' Way. I had given it to several people close to me for the last three holidays, but I had never actually done the process. This is not a book to read. It is a book to do and it promises major life changes in 13 weeks. I was desperate to find a new way to make a living and decided to give this my best shot. 13 weeks later there was no epiphany. I still didn't know where to go, so I started over from the beginning. Two weeks later, week 15 it dawned on me and I saw a way out and I knew what I had to do to get there. It changed my life.
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  • Kathleen
    January 1, 1970
    A book to cheer you on when you feel like you can only look longingly at your passion (writing, painting, drawing...) because the dog needs a walk and the kids need a bath, and you've bills to pay so you've just come home from a job that took you from the house and back to it without a glimpse of the sun.
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  • Gayle Pitman
    January 1, 1970
    I was introduced to The Artist's Way back in 2005 when I took a college class on creativity. If I hadn't signed up for that class, I'm sure I would have never picked up this book. I expected The Artist's Way to be full of fluffy, New-Agey platitudes, and I approached it with cynicism and skepticism. However, I kept an open mind. I read each chapter thoroughly. I did the morning pages every day and an artist's date once a week. I did a handful of the exercises at the end of each chapter. And my l I was introduced to The Artist's Way back in 2005 when I took a college class on creativity. If I hadn't signed up for that class, I'm sure I would have never picked up this book. I expected The Artist's Way to be full of fluffy, New-Agey platitudes, and I approached it with cynicism and skepticism. However, I kept an open mind. I read each chapter thoroughly. I did the morning pages every day and an artist's date once a week. I did a handful of the exercises at the end of each chapter. And my life changed. The morning pages resulted in an award-winning nonfiction book, a series of children's picture book manuscripts, and the willingness to embark upon another, more challenging nonfiction book writing project. The artist's dates renewed my childlike love for the fiber arts, and I began creating beautiful handwork projects. I learned to surf. I joined a writing group. Most importantly, even more important than the concrete examples of creativity that have resulted, I was given a set of tools for life - tools that enable me to challenge that critical voice in my head, and to trust my instincts. I can't say enough about this book. It came into my life during a difficult time, and it has dovetailed beautifully with recovery in other areas in my life.
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  • Pewterbreath
    January 1, 1970
    Look, for writers and artists whatever inspires you to create is a good thing. However, I found this book (For me) to be too "I am an artist, I am bohemian, I create" attitude. Writing (or any of the arts) has a greater verity for my when it's a little less "GIFT OF THE GODS" and a little more "craft." The most successful creators view their work as a craft in the same manner that a furniture maker or a bricklayer would, in my experience. Also when one focuses more on craftsmanship rather than i Look, for writers and artists whatever inspires you to create is a good thing. However, I found this book (For me) to be too "I am an artist, I am bohemian, I create" attitude. Writing (or any of the arts) has a greater verity for my when it's a little less "GIFT OF THE GODS" and a little more "craft." The most successful creators view their work as a craft in the same manner that a furniture maker or a bricklayer would, in my experience. Also when one focuses more on craftsmanship rather than inspiration it makes for better work as well.
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  • Michael Laflamme
    January 1, 1970
    http://mrlshelflife.wordpress.com/201...The Artist’s Way, while it contains some gems, is an overall disappointment. I’ve started it several times and it took me this fourth time to get all the way through. I had previously blamed my inability to finish it more on myself than on the work in general. The book taken as a whole comes across as pop psychology mixed with a heavy dose of New Age philosophy. There is a lot of talk about nurturing the inner child that is our real artist, the child’s ina http://mrlshelflife.wordpress.com/201...The Artist’s Way, while it contains some gems, is an overall disappointment. I’ve started it several times and it took me this fourth time to get all the way through. I had previously blamed my inability to finish it more on myself than on the work in general. The book taken as a whole comes across as pop psychology mixed with a heavy dose of New Age philosophy. There is a lot of talk about nurturing the inner child that is our real artist, the child’s inability to accept raw criticism and how this creates emotional scar tissue. The inner artist child needs to be protected and nurtured and needs to have its hand held and be tenderly led through the miasma of the psyche of the growing artist. She even goes so far as to equate poorly delivered criticism to sexual abuse, and projects that don’t materialize to miscarriages from which the artist suffers as much as the woman who lost a child. That was where she lost me for good.The book is full of case examples; artists, novelists, poets, script writers, all of who benefited from Cameron’s twelve week recovery. (Should I understand this as Cameron, a recovering alcoholic, devising her own twelve step program?) All of these case characters are given to us on a first name basis. One example is Ted, a blocked novelist who after the program and twelve (that number again) years of working with the Morning Pages, now has three novels to his credit. Okay. Ted, who? I want to see his work. I also want to see Bob’s breakout documentary, the one that a teacher trashed so harshly that Bob hid the reels in his basement which was then flooded. Then, after opening up to Cameron about the lost project, copies of the reels are found and he uses he newfound creativity, found with Cameron’s help, to finish the documentary and do yet another. I want to see these works. I want to connect to the tangible success of people who have travel this path that Cameron is leading us on. But alas Ted and Bob are just two examples of the long list of one-name shadows walking through Cameron’s book. The works these people completed and published could be a source of inspiration but are denied us by this one-name, AA-style, anonymity. After a while I began to question how many of these people were real. The one example she gave that I found truly inspirational worked for me because she used the full name, a name I recognized (Blake Edwards), and a story about him that is well known. It was one I’d heard before and I was glad to be reminded of it. It is a loss to Cameron’s work that there aren’t more examples that the reader can actually wrap his/her hands around.Cameron also talks long and hardy about her own work, much of which is in the film industry. I checked on IMDB. The list is short, two of the citations are for “Special Thanks” on major works by other people. She talks about writing plays. I can’t find any. She apparently worked as a journalist but a quick (and far from thorough) internet search didn’t turn up any leads. I remember seeing one novel by her in the library. Google her name and the overwhelming return is for The Artist’s Way. This is not to minimize Cameron’s achievements but it would help if she threw up some street signs leading the way to tangible evidence of her own work that shows us her program works.Her idea for Morning Pages does have an application. It is an effective brain dump. It does clear the pipes, so to speak, but I don’t see the efficacy of a slave-like devotion to the practice. I used it long before I found The Artist’s Way. I called it “writing in my journal.” I use it when my head is cluttered with too much information, which often happens during my job running two departments in a busy hotel, and trying to maintain even the barest minimum of creative pursuits. I can’t see myself, however, locked into every morning spending up to an hour doing Morning Pages. I can put that valuable time to better use writing my novels, stories, poetry and blog posts. I will admit I did exactly what she said not to do; I read the book through instead of doing the weekly exercises. In fact the last few chapters were scanned rather than thoroughly read. I realized early on that my “blockage” wasn’t about my creativity. My creativity is fine. I have lots of ideas and when I sit my butt down and work I can actually write and what I write is usually pretty good. My blockage is my discipline, my self-sabotage, and my lack of confidence and I didn’t find Cameron’s prescription to be a healing balm for my symptoms. I started looking at what some of my favorite and most respected writers have to say about writing, unblocking, and producing work. They don’t talk about twelve step recovery and nurturing our inner child who never grows up. They talk about work. Getting pen in hand, or hands on the keyboard and working. They talk about working until it works. They talk about breaking through blockages with action, not weekly exercises and group therapy sessions. These people talk about writing as people of other professions talk about their careers. They talk about how it takes work, discipline and action, and confidence in your ability. They talk about being able to recognize good criticism vs. poor criticism, and being mature enough to deal with both at face value. They talk about the reality of rejection and putting it in its proper place and not letting it sideswipe your momentum. This is the approach that I believe will work best for me and my writing. © 2014 M. Romeo LaFlamme
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  • Rosie
    January 1, 1970
    I read and did the exercises in this book during the most intense professional and personal time in my life. It was a life-changer because it allowed me to articulate my life purpose which is fundamentally about using my voice and helping others to find theirs. I recommend this book often.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    I read this book while I wrote Still Alice, and I'm reading it again while I write Left Neglected. Thank you, Julia Cameron, for this amazing gift!! And thank you to RJ Julia's book store in CT for the gift of this edition.
  • k.wing
    January 1, 1970
    I recently completed the 12-week book on my own, and I think that it was very well put together. I was already on my way to discovering a few of the main drivers in the book, but it would have taken me many years to collect them. I have been inspired by this book, and it has helped me work through things, instead of ignoring big problems with my creative process and trying to push them aside. A few of the reviews haven't been so kind for this book, which is okay. It is really hard to surrender t I recently completed the 12-week book on my own, and I think that it was very well put together. I was already on my way to discovering a few of the main drivers in the book, but it would have taken me many years to collect them. I have been inspired by this book, and it has helped me work through things, instead of ignoring big problems with my creative process and trying to push them aside. A few of the reviews haven't been so kind for this book, which is okay. It is really hard to surrender to anything - it's hard to let go and give in to something. And I don't mean God or Christianity (which is the author's personal belief system which also influences a lot of the book) necessarily - I mean a process - put in place to help. It's hard to just do it, and be open to what this book can do and what can happen. That being said, I didn't agree with everything written in the book. It's not like it's The Creative Process Bible or anything (so don't feel like it's that way or the highway or anything). Sure, for a couple of the exercises I just wrote "eh, that's okay" instead of doing them, and many of the exercise questions were obviously trying to lead you in one direction. But I think that's hardly a reason to throw this book to the birds. First, if you're considering doing this but aren't sure, read "The Artist's Way Questions and Answers" in the back of the book (page 205 in the 10th Anniversary Edition that I had), and you'll get a really good idea of what you'll be doing every day, every week, and Julia Cameron's philosophical approach to her book. And finally, if you decide to do it, do it all. If you're like me, you barely finish anything and it takes a hell of a lot of energy to complete something - and sheesh a 12 week long thing? But, at least for me, the 12 weeks went by in a flash and I really looked forward to the readings and exercises, and was so enthusiastic with the kind of creativity this book helped me to find and produce. Enjoy it. When it gets frustrating and you don't have the time, deal with it. Skip a day. Come back and do a morning page and you'll inevitably write until you get to the bottom of why you are frustrated and skipped a day. It's a process, and it doesn't have to be perfect. Have FUN!
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  • Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*
    January 1, 1970
    I read The Artist's Way a few years ago and could see the benefits of actually doing the work in it. But, of course, I never did it. So I thought I would listen to the book and refresh my memory, and again I feel it would do me good. But will I do it this time?I have many other artists friends who have read it and also planned on doing it, but I don't know if they have either...The Artist Way is a book written to unblock artist of a kinds, writers, painters, actors ect. I can't say that I'm bloc I read The Artist's Way a few years ago and could see the benefits of actually doing the work in it. But, of course, I never did it. So I thought I would listen to the book and refresh my memory, and again I feel it would do me good. But will I do it this time?I have many other artists friends who have read it and also planned on doing it, but I don't know if they have either...The Artist Way is a book written to unblock artist of a kinds, writers, painters, actors ect. I can't say that I'm blocked, but it is hard to carve out time and feel creative in this crazy world we live in today. It is even harder to work on something of your own when you are actually working in the art field daily. The last thing you want to do when you get home from work is more work. The book is full of exercises to get you on that creative path, week by week, 12 in all (I think). The main exercise, one you do the whole time, is the one that is holding me back from starting. It's called Morning Pages. This exercise is doing a stream of consciousness journal first thing in the morning every morning. I am not a morning person, and I don't know many artists that are so writing anything, even spewing crazy off the wall and top of your head stuff is asking a lot. I don't think I could hold a pen at that moment, let alone actually write with it. Before coffee?I do recommend this book to all my creative friends reading this. As I said, I can see how it would work.....if you did it. You can't win, if you don't play.
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  • pani Katarzyna
    January 1, 1970
    Okay, I read over a half and this is cheating a little bit but I am so DONE with the book! And I do believe that enduring through 150 pages of this entitles me to regard it as absolutely "read". Any book that recommends affirmations is not good for much else but using it as a beer coaster. Then there's this constant babbling about some God the Creator - Whatever. There's more pseudo-psychotherapeutic talk than any actual propositions of inviting creativity... Oh, and the repetition of the "artis Okay, I read over a half and this is cheating a little bit but I am so DONE with the book! And I do believe that enduring through 150 pages of this entitles me to regard it as absolutely "read". Any book that recommends affirmations is not good for much else but using it as a beer coaster. Then there's this constant babbling about some God the Creator - Whatever. There's more pseudo-psychotherapeutic talk than any actual propositions of inviting creativity... Oh, and the repetition of the "artist's child" phrase was driving me insane. It must be the equivalent of "the inner goddess" from The Fifty Shades of Grey or something.
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  • Dakota Lane
    January 1, 1970
    i'm just randomly pulling these off my shelf, literally, i didn't even know i had this still but it's what helped me get back to writing when i did my first book eight thousand years ago, the one everyone says WHY CAN'T YOU WRITE ANOTHER BOOK LIKE THAT??? book.i always give "the morning pages" exercise to my students. (that makes it sound like i have students hanging around me and in my life at all times instead of twice a year.)but here it is, a teaser for this fine book:1. first thing in the a i'm just randomly pulling these off my shelf, literally, i didn't even know i had this still but it's what helped me get back to writing when i did my first book eight thousand years ago, the one everyone says WHY CAN'T YOU WRITE ANOTHER BOOK LIKE THAT??? book.i always give "the morning pages" exercise to my students. (that makes it sound like i have students hanging around me and in my life at all times instead of twice a year.)but here it is, a teaser for this fine book:1. first thing in the a.m.--before you even get out of bed--grab your handy notebook and pen and write three pages WITHOUT STOPPING OR THINKING. you are not doing writing writing. you are not to read it back (well months from now, ok.) just get it out and forget it.you might come up with a new screenplay idea.you might trash your cousin indigo because she ruined your marriage or spileld that starbucks on your dress. whatever. LET IT OUT.great book for anyone who wants to remember their real self.
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  • Katherine Addison
    January 1, 1970
    I can't rate this book, since my opinion of it veers wildly between five stars and zero stars.For those not familiar with it, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron is a book that claims it can reconnect anyone with their "Inner Artist," via a program modeled openly on AA's Twelve Step Program (it is not a coincidence that Cameron is a recovering alcoholic). As such, it conceptualizes creativity as something inherently spiritual and conceptualizes the artist as a channel for God's will.So.PROBLEM NUM I can't rate this book, since my opinion of it veers wildly between five stars and zero stars.For those not familiar with it, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron is a book that claims it can reconnect anyone with their "Inner Artist," via a program modeled openly on AA's Twelve Step Program (it is not a coincidence that Cameron is a recovering alcoholic). As such, it conceptualizes creativity as something inherently spiritual and conceptualizes the artist as a channel for God's will.So.PROBLEM NUMBER ONE: For me, creativity is not something that comes from outside the self, but something that comes from deep within the self. (And Cameron isn't actually very consistent, since her model of creativity seems to be something like the Puritans' model of the Elect: it's entirely out of your control, but you have to behave properly in order to be one. So her model goes back and forth between "you have to open yourself to God's will" and "you have to find the ideas that are deep within you and nurture them into bloom.") Also, I admit this freely, I have all the spirituality of a brick, so treating creativity as something spiritual means it's something I'm excluded from, and I think I can be forgiven for not liking that model very much.PROBLEM NUMBER TWO: Cameron has (I hope unconsciously) reinvented one of Freud's more repellent ideas. Where, in talking about Dora, he postulates that "yes" means yes, and "no" also means yes, Cameron explains that if you don't like any of her teachings, or if they make you angry, that just means you're childishly resisting the thing you need in order to heal. So, basically, if you question or argue with her, that's a sign you're Doing It Wrong.This idea annoys me more than a little.PROBLEM NUMBER THREE: Cameron is writing from a position of unconscious privilege. She has the freedom to assume that if you are blocked creatively, it is something you can solve by willpower alone, that it's more or less something you have unconsciously done to yourself because you are scared of being creative. She does not allow for health (either physical or mental) to be something out of your control that may be affecting your creativity, and although she acknowledges that there are people who are creative but who cannot create because they are too busy struggling to survive or to care for their children or whatever other actual and genuine impediment may be in their life that they cannot simply will away by rearranging their schedule a little, she has a serene confidence that none of those people are reading her book.As someone who has been unable to write, to a greater or lesser degree, for seven years (yes, you did read that correctly; I finished the principal draft of The Goblin Emperor in 2009), I would like to state for the record that if the problem could be solved by willpower alone, I WOULD HAVE SOLVED IT ALREADY. And I resent the condescending attitude that the problem is all my fault, if I would just have enough self-insight to see it.PROBLEM NUMBER FOUR: Cameron is of the same school of thought as Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg, that writing (and other forms of creativity) is basically therapy, that creativity comes from the well of psychic injury. Now, writing can be theraputic, and tremendously so, but this model of writing-as-therapy, as direct one-to-one correspondence stream-of-consciousness therapy, does not work for me and never has.ROBLEM NUMBER FIVE: Cameron believes "The universe will always support affirmative action" (194), that if you open yourself up to the universe, the universe will send you what you need. Always. Now maybe it's just because I've read too much true crime and it's made me cynical, but I can't help pointing out that sometimes, if you open yourself up to the universe, the universe sends you Ted Bundy. The universe is not inherently benevolent. It is inherently indifferent and does not give a fuck whether you succeed or fail.Some of these problems are merely annoying; some of them are potentially destructive to writers (and other artists) if they take them as gospel (pardon the pun); some of them are irresponsible and dangerous.But despite all that, and despite the fact that I did not so much follow the Artist's Way as argue vigorously with it, there are a lot of valuable ideas in what Cameron says. Some of them were things I already knew, but needed to be reminded of, like that, just like any other form of creativity, writing requires continual practice. Even if you can't write a story, you can still write something, and you need to."Sloth, apathy, and despair are the enemy," she says on page 62, and I agree with that whole-heartedly. And I love her idea of true north, that two people can have the same goal, but their reasons, the thing pulling them like a lodestone, don't have to be the same. And I would follow that with, if you lose your true north, for whatever reason, you're going to have to find it again before you can get very far. She harmonizes with Csikszentmihalyi in emphasizing that the writer is well-served to value process over product, and she points out something I have, in fact, taken to heart; that when your "sensible" self asks, "Do you know how long it's going to take you to do X? Do you know how old you'll be?" the correct answer is, "Just as old as I'll be if I don't do it."Cameron also provides a lot of quotes from a lot of people, some of which I found wrong, some inane, some simply not applicable. But some I really liked, like Theodore Roethke's "I learn by going where I have to go." (Which, okay, I'm not going to say "The Waking" is the greatest villanelle of all time, but I am gonna say it's pretty damn close.)Others:"I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues." --Duke Ellington"Whenever I have to choose between two evils, I always like to try the one I haven't tried before." --Mae West"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." --Seneca"In a dark time, the eye begins to see." --Roethke again."Look and you will find it--what is unsought will go undetected." --Sophocles"Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark." --Agnes de Mille"Satisfaction of one's curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life." --Linus Pauling"The unconscious wants truth. It ceases to speak to those who want something else more than truth." --Adrienne Rich"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery." --Francis Bacon (this one, not that one)"What moves men of genius, or rather what inspires their work, is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough." --Eugène Delacroix (forgive him his sexism, he's been dead for a hundred and fifty-four years)"Adventure doesn't begin until you get into the forest." --Mickey Hart"One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time." --André Gide"A painting is never finished--it simply stops in interesting places." --Paul Gardner
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    I took the plunge into this book and, like several of my friends, did not make it all the way through (the closest I came to finishing was chapter 10 ... even when i revisited the book a few years later). However, the ground I did cover helped me get more honest with myself about my creative interests. I think I've made some choices in my life that, in hindsight, I might not have made had I not had experience with this book.I think that's what is great about this book. Whether you make it throug I took the plunge into this book and, like several of my friends, did not make it all the way through (the closest I came to finishing was chapter 10 ... even when i revisited the book a few years later). However, the ground I did cover helped me get more honest with myself about my creative interests. I think I've made some choices in my life that, in hindsight, I might not have made had I not had experience with this book.I think that's what is great about this book. Whether you make it through every chapter or not, there is something meaningful to take away from the writing prompts, "morning pages," and playful, creative exercises ... and to this day, I have a much better outlook in general when I make a point of taking myself on an "artist's date."(To those who are in the middle of working through the book on their own or with a group ... I *know* she emphasizes over and over the idea of doing the "pages" in the morning ... but really, I found that as long as I did them as some point in the day, there was value in it.)
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  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    First read this book with a class in 1997. Oh, the disgruntling over morning pages. Oh, the looks of sheer hatred I got when I announced I'd given myself permission to write morning pages at the end of the day because I knew I wouldn't get them written otherwise. Re-read in 2006 with GB to get ready to facilitate an expressive writing support group. Those pages are now lovingly known as the whatever pages. This book gives permission, and I think we all need a lot of that in order to take creativ First read this book with a class in 1997. Oh, the disgruntling over morning pages. Oh, the looks of sheer hatred I got when I announced I'd given myself permission to write morning pages at the end of the day because I knew I wouldn't get them written otherwise. Re-read in 2006 with GB to get ready to facilitate an expressive writing support group. Those pages are now lovingly known as the whatever pages. This book gives permission, and I think we all need a lot of that in order to take creative baby steps. Go ahead. Jump on in. The water is fine.
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  • Bonita Rose
    January 1, 1970
    the perfect 'bible' for any creative soul.
  • Leila
    January 1, 1970
    قبلا این کتاب رو جاهای دیگه دیده بودم و خیلی سرسری ازش رد شدم.کتاب های روانشناسی مرتبط به رشته ام زیاد خوندم ولی این با بقیه فرق داشت،خیلی به صورت عملی کمکت میکرد و ناخودآگاه روت تاثیر میذاشت که دونه دونه تمرین های گفته شده رو به خواست خودت انجام بدی(پیشنهاد داده هر روز صبح سه صفحه بنویسی هرچی به ذهنت میاد). این کتاب به درک بالایی از خودشناسی میرسونت که لااقل تو کتابای قبلی که من دیدم و خوندم چنین چیزی ندیدم.خیلی واضح بهت یاد میده که با خودت رک و روراست باشی و کنار بیای البته با هنرمند درونت،انز قبلا این کتاب رو جاهای دیگه دیده بودم و خیلی سرسری ازش رد شدم.کتاب های روانشناسی مرتبط به رشته ام زیاد خوندم ولی این با بقیه فرق داشت،خیلی به صورت عملی کمکت میکرد و ناخودآگاه روت تاثیر میذاشت که دونه دونه تمرین های گفته شده رو به خواست خودت انجام بدی(پیشنهاد داده هر روز صبح سه صفحه بنویسی هرچی به ذهنت میاد). این کتاب به درک بالایی از خودشناسی میرسونت که لااقل تو کتابای قبلی که من دیدم و خوندم چنین چیزی ندیدم.خیلی واضح بهت یاد میده که با خودت رک و روراست باشی و کنار بیای البته با هنرمند درونت،انزوا که نمیشه گفت ولی یه تنها بودن خوشایند و عالی با خودت رو بهت یاد میده،اینکه چجوری ازش استفاده کنی و یاد بگیری باهاش چیکار کنی در روند رشد خودت و خلاقیتت.چیزی که برام جالب بود تابحال بهش برنخورده بودم نحوه برخورد این کتاب با افسردگی و اضطراب بود، معمولا همه جا به ما گفته شده که یه راه حلی شبیه به فرار رو پیش بگیریم حتی فرار به سمت عادت های خوب مثلا تا افسرده شدی برو سمت کتاب برو سمت بیرون موسیقی دوستات و غیره...ولی این کتاب میگه از خودت فرار نکن و مسئله رو درون خودت کند و کاو کن بزار انقدر اذیتت کنه تا به جایی برسونت، بجای پناه بردن به چیزای دیگه و این واقعا برای من جالب بود و بدرد بخور چون در فرایند فرار ممکنه مدتی کوتاهی خوب بشی ولی دوباره برمیگرده وقتی با خودت جرات روبرو شدن رو نداشته باشی و همه و همه اینا نه به صورت کلام روانشناسی و تخصصی بلکه خیلی عامیانه راه حلی برای خلاقیت و چیزایی که مارو به سوی خلاق بودن میکشونه گفته شده. احساس کردم نظرم رو جای دیگه بغیر از گودریدز نمیتونم بگم اینجوری شد که طولانی شدم.
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  • Chris Wolak
    January 1, 1970
    If you were an adult in the late 1990s and don't know this book, you were either living under a rock or never set foot inside a bookstore or library or community center for that matter. I was living in Reno and then in Charlotte, NC when the book's popularity hit its zenith and there were Artist Way groups that got together at bookstores, libraries, community centers, and coffee shops.The biggest takeaway for me was morning pages--writing, by longhand, three pages of stream of consciousness stuf If you were an adult in the late 1990s and don't know this book, you were either living under a rock or never set foot inside a bookstore or library or community center for that matter. I was living in Reno and then in Charlotte, NC when the book's popularity hit its zenith and there were Artist Way groups that got together at bookstores, libraries, community centers, and coffee shops.The biggest takeaway for me was morning pages--writing, by longhand, three pages of stream of consciousness stuff going on in your head to get it out of the way. Cleanse your pallet. It also made me aware of crazy makers in my life, which, at the time, I wasn't ready to let go of. But I think this book was part of a movement in my life that changed me in ways that eventually let me let go of people who subtly and not so subtly sabotaged my life.I've yet to meet a person who claims to have completed every exercise in the book, but I have met many people who have benefited either personally or artistically from having read it. Read it and then re-read parts of it and work the exercises.
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  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 1970
    I worked through this book from the beginning of September till now. For me, it was helpful. I liked how Cameron was able to illuminate in a gentle, eloquent way, how an artist can become blocked. Some of her concepts such as "nervous-reading" (a word of my own coining), were surprising, but I can see how mindless consumption of information--of anything at your fingertips--can create difficulties. I haven't read other reviews, but I imagine that they are probably pretty brutal. This book is not I worked through this book from the beginning of September till now. For me, it was helpful. I liked how Cameron was able to illuminate in a gentle, eloquent way, how an artist can become blocked. Some of her concepts such as "nervous-reading" (a word of my own coining), were surprising, but I can see how mindless consumption of information--of anything at your fingertips--can create difficulties. I haven't read other reviews, but I imagine that they are probably pretty brutal. This book is not high-tech or overtly analytical. However, I think that it can be a useful tool if taken with a grain of salt. Other friends have also recommended the War of Art as a tool for unlocking creativity. I'm interested to check that one out too.
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  • Ugnė
    January 1, 1970
    Įdomiau būtų, jei būčiau naudojusi ši knygą taip, kaip ji ir parašyta - kaip pratybų sąsiuvinį. Tačiau tik skaičiau ir todėl kai kurios vietos man atrodė pernelyg nuklampinančios į savigailą.Knyga gali padėti ne tik menininkams ir norintiems tokiais tapti, bet apskritai visiems, turintiems svajonę kažką nuveikti ir niekaip tam neprisiruošiantiems (nes būtent neprisiruošimui ir kliūtims skiriama daugiausia dėmesio). Gali nepatikti tiems, kurie nenori prisiminti nieko iš savo vaikystės (arba galvo Įdomiau būtų, jei būčiau naudojusi ši knygą taip, kaip ji ir parašyta - kaip pratybų sąsiuvinį. Tačiau tik skaičiau ir todėl kai kurios vietos man atrodė pernelyg nuklampinančios į savigailą.Knyga gali padėti ne tik menininkams ir norintiems tokiais tapti, bet apskritai visiems, turintiems svajonę kažką nuveikti ir niekaip tam neprisiruošiantiems (nes būtent neprisiruošimui ir kliūtims skiriama daugiausia dėmesio). Gali nepatikti tiems, kurie nenori prisiminti nieko iš savo vaikystės (arba galvoja, kad nieko iš ten neprisimena), nes dauguma pratimų skatina prisiminti ją, save, kai buvai vaikas ir pan.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Today I finished the 12-week program in this book for the 4th time. The first time, I joined an online group that went through it. The second time, I attempted it alone. The last two times, I went through it with a local group that I gathered and facilitated.Every time, I learn something new -- about myself, about creativity, about my hopes and dreams. Sometimes, I find the essays and tasks cheesy and dumb. Other times, they are exactly what I need at the time.When writers ask me to recommend a Today I finished the 12-week program in this book for the 4th time. The first time, I joined an online group that went through it. The second time, I attempted it alone. The last two times, I went through it with a local group that I gathered and facilitated.Every time, I learn something new -- about myself, about creativity, about my hopes and dreams. Sometimes, I find the essays and tasks cheesy and dumb. Other times, they are exactly what I need at the time.When writers ask me to recommend a book to learn how to write, I recommend this one. It's not about writing at all, not really, but about unblocking creativity. It will step on all your toes and make you work hard and stop procrastinating, but it will feel fantastic if you follow through. It's not really a book to do alone, though. If you really want to get the most out of it, find some others willing to go through it with you. Sign the contracts and commit yourselves to finishing. It's better when you have people who will call you on your bullshit when you start wimping out. It's better to have people who will be there when you realize you're a terrible artist -- people who have seen your work and who can see the qualities that make you stand out.I can't speak highly enough of this book and this process. It's not really a book you just sit down and read. You have to put in the work to get the results. Sometimes it hurts. Sometimes it's hard. But it's absolutely worth it.
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  • Tj
    January 1, 1970
    A friend told me she was doing the 'Artist Way', and asked me to do it with her. I figured, why not.As an aspiring writer, the book, definatly had some appeal, but kind of lost me as I progressed through it. It's obviously written for people who are not 'artists' per say, but would like to be. The first chapter was about overcoming mental obstacles (like being afriad that you'll become poor and get AIDS from being an artist...).It's also a very kind of spiritual 'new age' type of books, i.e. Art A friend told me she was doing the 'Artist Way', and asked me to do it with her. I figured, why not.As an aspiring writer, the book, definatly had some appeal, but kind of lost me as I progressed through it. It's obviously written for people who are not 'artists' per say, but would like to be. The first chapter was about overcoming mental obstacles (like being afriad that you'll become poor and get AIDS from being an artist...).It's also a very kind of spiritual 'new age' type of books, i.e. Art is from God and it flows through you, you are a beautiful vessel, etc...Regardless, each chapter gives you different exercises to do for the week, to become more creative and open yourslef up, some are good, and some are kind of ridiclous. The hardest thing the book challenges you to do is write at least 3 pages a day, free writing, by hand, right after you wake up. Which was suprisingly hard. I struggled for the first month, but after that I enjoyed actually writing every day.I don't actually do the morning pages anymore, but would start them up again later.It wasn't a complete wash, but the book wasn't really written for people who studied creative writing in college.
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  • Satia
    January 1, 1970
    I read this ages ago when my mother gave me a copy for my daughter. I read it before I gave it to her and I credit the practice of Morning Pages with giving me the strength I needed to get a divorce. I definitely needed the emotional push.Years later, I led a book group on this book and we had a wonderful time working through the book, growing closer as a group and feeling stronger in our individual ways of being artistic.Years later, my mother suggested we read through it together and I once ag I read this ages ago when my mother gave me a copy for my daughter. I read it before I gave it to her and I credit the practice of Morning Pages with giving me the strength I needed to get a divorce. I definitely needed the emotional push.Years later, I led a book group on this book and we had a wonderful time working through the book, growing closer as a group and feeling stronger in our individual ways of being artistic.Years later, my mother suggested we read through it together and I once again had to take it back from my daughter. My mother and I would check in with one another once a week, occasionally taking two weeks to finish a single chapter. We both had a great time (although I found the exercises not as helpful the third time through).The first time I read the book, I didn't try to do everything Cameron suggests. Rather, I marked the exercises I had not completed and later, when I read through the book a second time, I took the time to do some of the exercises I had skipped the first time around. For anyone who wants to heal, to recover (from whatever!), to find strength and especially for anyone who wants to really explore the power and empowerment of journaling, this book is a must read. I love it. I gave it back to my daughter after borrowing it twice. I hope she finds it as exciting and fulfilling as I have.
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  • Alexandra Sokoloff
    January 1, 1970
    From the beginning of the year been insanely busy - emphasis on “insane” - with all the preparation and marketing involved with the Huntress series, relaunching Huntress Moon and Blood Moon and launching Cold Moon with Thomas & Mercer in a rollout over just five months.But that’s not all there’s been to it. The last part of last year was really hard, in a professional sense.The delays in the release of Cold Moon made me anxious and depressed. At the same time that I was grappling with that, From the beginning of the year been insanely busy - emphasis on “insane” - with all the preparation and marketing involved with the Huntress series, relaunching Huntress Moon and Blood Moon and launching Cold Moon with Thomas & Mercer in a rollout over just five months.But that’s not all there’s been to it. The last part of last year was really hard, in a professional sense.The delays in the release of Cold Moon made me anxious and depressed. At the same time that I was grappling with that, I committed myself to a complete overhaul of Screenwriting Tricks For Authors before taking it to print - and ended up doubling the material in the book. I’m thrilled with the result, but it took time away from my fiction writing and stretched me more thin than is really healthy for me, or anyone for that matter.Also, I’m writing Book 4 in the Huntress series and I seem to be writing three different books at once, which, while it is probably exactly the process I need to be going through, is also hugely confusing.And oh yeah – I started Book 1 of a new series set in Scotland and in LA.All of this while I have been adapting to life in a new country. That marginally speaks English, but not always. Especially after a few pints.Are we starting to get what’s wrong with this picture?It was time to stop the madness and reassess.The good news is, I didn’t have a complete nervous breakdown.The better news is, I knew how to heal myself.Some of you may be familiar with Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way – a classic on creativity, spirituality, and recovery. It’s a twelve-week program sort of based on twelve-step programs, but for artists and creativity.The Artist’s Way is a huge commitment. You do Morning Pages every day (three mandatory pages of free form writing) and an Artist Date every week, plus numerous assignments on top of that. This is what I decided to do on top of everything else I was doing. Crazy, right?But I knew I had to do something.Workaholism is a big problem for me. Let's be blunt - I get a lot of rewards from it. Certainly it pays off in a career sense – it’s kind of the job description for a screenwriter and pretty much for an author, too, if you want to make a living at it. There’s another big payoff, too. When I’m insanely busy I don’t have to think about myself much. Or at all.But you know…. that’s maybe not so great.The Artist’s Way is designed by someone who has had all those issues and knows the score, including all your sneaky little tricks.The first time I did the program, I didn’t make it all the way through the twelve weeks. I rarely did the Artist Date. I openly scoffed at and ignored most of the suggestions for fun stuff. And I certainly didn’t do some of the scary deeper work – like the week of reading deprivation. (Yes, that means an entire week of no reading. I know some of you out there just stopped breathing at the very thought).But even not doing it full out, the breakthroughs that happened for me at the time I was working the program and in the year or two after I did it were extraordinary. I finished Huntress Moon, decided to e publish it instead of going for another traditional publishing deal, and did it to big success. I got back all of my backlist of traditionally published books and launched those books as e books. I wrote my YA thriller The Space Between, and wrote a romance version of Screenwriting Tricks for Authors. I started teaching a college film class, which I loved. And, oh yeah - I met this guy Craig RobertsonThis time through, the breakthroughs are already coming fast and furious. Sometimes I’m taking two weeks to do the work suggested for a week. Sometimes I’m skipping stuff. I put off the reading deprivation while I was doing copyedits, but I did it last week, a full week, and WOW. (I’ll write about that in a separate blog.).I already feel so much more aligned and focused. I can’t wait to get started with my day in the morning. In the midst of some pretty dangerous burnout, I am healing.It is an immense relief.So a huge thank you to Julia Cameron, for saving my skin - and soul - again.And for you all, some questions. Did you know about The Artist’s Way? (It’s not just for artists and writers. It’s for everyone. We’re all creative beings at our core.) Have you ever worked the program?Or is there some other way you’ve found to take stock and heal yourself in times of burnout? I’d love to hear!
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  • Antoinette Perez
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not one to ask for external recognition, but I'd be OK if you gave me a medal for completing not just this book, but the program! The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron is a how-to book -- specifically, how to overcome your creative blocks -- structured as a 12-week program. It's based on a popular workshop Cameron taught in NYC to help creative people recover their creative productivity and passion, so each week's "lesson" starts with a lecture (about 6-8 pages of content), is peppered with quot I'm not one to ask for external recognition, but I'd be OK if you gave me a medal for completing not just this book, but the program! The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron is a how-to book -- specifically, how to overcome your creative blocks -- structured as a 12-week program. It's based on a popular workshop Cameron taught in NYC to help creative people recover their creative productivity and passion, so each week's "lesson" starts with a lecture (about 6-8 pages of content), is peppered with quotes from other creative people to inspire and cheer you along, and ends with a set of tasks for you to complete or not.I say "or not" because she says you don't have to do all the exercises to reap the benefits of creative recovery, but there is still maybe something helpful in there for you if you do them. I also say "or not" because this isn't school, and no one will be there to make sure you do it all.I did not feel particularly blocked when I started the program in June. But there was a group forming to complete the 12-week program together, very close to my house, on the same day each week that is generally good for me to meet. I also had a couple other "signs from the universe" that I should jump on board, so I did. The group was very diverse, with people from many walks of life, in very different phases of their careers and lives, some of whom are creative for a living and others who aren't. As the weeks went on, the group got progressively smaller. Several people said they wanted to "re-launch" their 12 weeks in the fall, but about 4 of us are seeing this cycle to the end. Having that peer group, to listen, to share things they got that maybe didn't initially resonate with me, to challenge and support each other -- what a wonderful bonus, IMHO. I'm so glad I for this group.The only real rule I put in place for myself was to do the Morning Pages exercise, which is 3 pages of writing about anything you want, every single morning. Actually, this is maybe Cameron's only rule for the program, too. In order to get maximum benefit, you've got to put in that minimum amount of effort. All the rest you can figure out and negotiate as you go along. I ended up filling a journal and running 2 pens out of ink before the 12 weeks was even over. There was something particularly satisfying about that...Cameron's writing style is a curious mix of common sense self-help, full-on new age spirituality, and gratuitous name-dropping. (FYI the book was originally published in 1992; my print copy looks like it is from 1996; and I bought the 10th anniversary Kindle version. It's the 10th anniversary edition that takes the name dropping from annoying to unbearable. If you don't like that kind of thing, just skip the introduction in the 10th anniversary edition.) Some weeks, I'd be highlighting like crazy and shouting, "I know!!!" at the pages. Other weeks, I'd just shrug my shoulders and just write whatever was on my mind. And it was still so helpful in so many ways. I feel not just more productive, and not just like I understand myself better, but also like I can manage my creative ebbs and flows more effectively. It's probably no coincidence that I found my sewing mojo again in the middle of the program. And the daily writing habit -- I never intend to let that go. It's been magnificent.The subtitle of the book is perfect: "A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity." But what isn't evident from the title or the subtitle is that this book isn't just for those in creative professions, or those with creative aspirations. If you are creating a life (which is most of us), this book is for you.
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  • Nazanin Moshiri
    January 1, 1970
    وقتی خود را به روی خلاقیت خویش می گشاییم، خود را به روی خلاقیت خالقی می گشاییم که درون ما و زندگی ماست.
  • Paula
    January 1, 1970
    This has been an important book in my life for the past 10 years. I have gone through the process 4-5 times.I believe the book is extremely valuable for anyone who wants to have more creativity in their life, including such non-"artistic" pursuits as creative problem solving, creative parenting, etc. I have experienced and seen others experience great results.There are some very difficult moments, especially in Chapter 8-9 when the rubber hits the road and you are asked to name your goal and how This has been an important book in my life for the past 10 years. I have gone through the process 4-5 times.I believe the book is extremely valuable for anyone who wants to have more creativity in their life, including such non-"artistic" pursuits as creative problem solving, creative parenting, etc. I have experienced and seen others experience great results.There are some very difficult moments, especially in Chapter 8-9 when the rubber hits the road and you are asked to name your goal and how you are going to get there. It's easy to turn away at that point. Don't. Just take a chance. I'm convinced that the best way to do the program is to do it as a group with a good facilitator. Otherwise it's very difficult to pick yourself up and keep going when you inevitably fall behind. And while it's opposing what Cameron herself suggests, I do believe the facilitator needs to have a different role than the other members of the circle, to keep the group organized and to plan how the work will get done. That said, it's critical that the facilitator also be doing the program him/herself and act as a facilitator, not a know-it-all teacher. Final piece of advice-- get yourself a notebook and do all the exercises in it. The format where some exercises are in the book and some are suggested at the end leads to too much scattered, imporant work. You need to be able to look back over and see what your answers have been telling you.
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