27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2005
This book focuses on facing the winds of change and challenge in the commitment to fostering artistic creativity. I would have preferred a *Table of Contents* in the beginning of the book which I think would be beneficial to the reader. Cameron is self revelatory in the book, honest enough, shares some deep encouragement for drought and waiting times in the creative day to day process. It is obvious that this author practices what she preaches and is writing from the heart of her own experience.
The middle section of the book between P. 97 and 195 had the most personal meaning for me. Cameron's assertions encourage blooming artists to adhere to practices of discipline and wade out the rough adversarial waters which inevitably rise during the day to day artistic awakening process.
The chapter on "Remembering Who We Are" contains a profound essential truth. On p. 182, Cameron is right on the mark when she addresses the self-sabotaging cruel voice within each human life that completely erects blocks from within and without. She states, "Some of the finest painting gets done on the days when we just show up at the easel because that is our job. In other words, when we practice self acceptance of where we are and who we are instead of striving, always to be better. We are enough, exactly as we are." From this essential truth, the artist is encouraged to take heart and not lose hope.
Most of the writing activities at the end of each chapter are "keep in your hip pocket" types. You may wish to make photo copies of them and tuck them in the inside pocket of your journal to use later. I recommend just reading the book straight through. You'll have a pretty fair idea after reading the entire piece where you want to focus your time and energies. At that time, you can make copies of the *end of chapter activities* which seem most appropriate for where you are in your creative journey.
On p. 213, she clearly has a handle on the essence of art, that it is a process of soul bearing and to engage this process "requires great humility." Art weaving and art making is a quite vulnerable endeavor. When a project is finished it is subject to receptivity, rejection or both. Commitment to the process remains the goal for budding artists whether any project received or rejected. This is often a profound challenge each artist faces. Cameron offers examples of those who remained faithful to writing, to "art making" while day in and day out sifting through reams of very mediocre material before the "ah ha" creative wonder emerged. She offers sound guidance in how to keep one's commitment on steady grounding.
The chapter on "Drama" I found rather humorous and insightful. Cameron absolutely nails the deadly effects of "letting the (...)" of drama get you down. I appreciated reading how absolutely distracting this is to living the life of an artist. The beauty of her solution is to create art straight at the energy flagging dramas that run through the mind. In meditation art we learn to detach from dramas and this is helpful. In the conscious life and in work, I find it important as well to watch becoming entangled in dramatic plays and ploys that occur in any relationship. Awareness of drama magnets assists in the wise practice of detachment and getting on with the art.
There is fine wisdom in "The Sound of Paper" for journal work and delving more deeply to one's daily artistic endeavors.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2006
I make a point of telling anyone searching for their inner voice or a sense of self about Julia Cameron. Her work, The Artist's Way changed my life. I was diligent and worked through Ms. Cameron's twelve week program several times over from beginning to end. The book, the exercises, and Ms. Cameron's method worked for me.
As I talk to people about that book there were two recurring themes among those who had also discovered her work. Either they, like me, found it immensely helpful, or they started in and quickly lost interest. The second group is much larger.
There are varied reasons the second group gives, but at the top of their list is the required discipline to make your way through The Artist's Way. Ms. Cameron addresses this problem in The Sound of Paper.
The Sound of Paper is different. The chapters are short and the method and process aren't at the fore. This time, Ms. Cameron writes short essays from a biographical focus telling stories of her life, her failures, her fears and her successes. These short essays are lyrical snapshots of an artist's life. At the end of each essay is an exercise. For those who've skimmed, scanned or experienced her previous book, you'll notice many of the same exercises come up again. There isn't that sense of urgency about the process. Instead, the exercises are gentler and have a random feeling in their placement.
While I will always recommend The Artist's Way as the life changing book that it is, The Sound of Paper is another excellent experience for those interested in discovering their artist within and letting that artist out into the world. Having choices and options is always a good thing and Ms. Cameron has delivered us choice in her latest work.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2007
This is a book of essays on life and being a writer. There are interesting and helpful excercises at the end of each essay. Alot of the essays stem from her 'Artist Date' experiences, and her reflections and observations. She does write about the 'Morning Pages' that she has become so well known for. Besides the Artist Dates and Morning Pages, she also highly recommends taking a 20 minute walk everyday and an hour walk at least once a week.
I have revisited this several times and, although I don't think it made a big difference for me with my writing, I do enjoy and benefit from many of the essays. Mostly according to what I'm going through at the time I read or reread this book.
One thing is for sure. This woman knows about the pains of life, and writing. -And she knows how to keep on living in the most creative way she can. In many parts, I found myself consoled because I could tell that she wasn't merely speculating, you can feel that it comes from her heart.
This is not just for writers, but any artists. Honestly, it didn't knock my socks off, but that doesn't mean that it isn't good. Do we always need for a book to be out of this world to get something valuable from it? I don't think so. This woman has already made a huge contribution to the world with her "Artists Way." She doesn't need to prove anything to anyone. I think it's great that she chooses to continue to share what she's learned and observed.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2005
I read this book one chapter a day to get me focused on my own writing and reading for my dissertation. This book brings my soul to where I am. Without this book, I don't know how to get rid of my other worries in life and concentrate on my study. So I strongly recommend this book to others who need some comfort concentrating on what they are doing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2010
Creativity expert Julia Cameron once again inspires the blocked artist in The Sound of Paper, a series of essays that serve as a roadmap to rediscovering the creativity that Cameron believes is the lifeblood at the core of everyone's soul. Designed for artists, writers, musicians, actors, sculptors, and anyone else whose desires lean toward the creative, Cameron's book reads similar to The Right to Write, another book of essays tailored more toward the impact writing can have on the creative life.
Written during the summer months spent while living in Taos, New Mexico, Cameron begins each essay with a description of the weather, the landscape, or the culture of one of Taos, one of America's hotbeds of artistic inspiration. Cameron makes comparisons of the natural world around her to the creative lives of the individuals she seeks to help unblock. The essays are short, running on average two or three pages, and the initial paragraphs of explicit description of Taos and the weather can become frustrating after a while. Keep reading. Get past the mundane to the core of the essay, and you will find inspiring expert advice.
Many of the concepts explored in The Sound of Paper are the same as in Cameron's best-selling creativity workshop, The Artist's Way. The Sound of Paper serves as outstanding supplemental reading for anyone undertaking The Artist's Way. Each essay is followed by an activity intended in helping the reader experience first-hand the concepts discussed. Cameron explores all aspects of creativity, from the root causes behind blocked artists to dealing with creative reawakening and even surrounding ourselves with supportive and encouraging friends. She takes things a step further by encouraging her readers to explore their deepest desires, imagining themselves as fulfilling their creative dreams and setting goals - both long and short term - to achieve them.
Cameron discounts common stereotypes of artistic people, explaining that artists need not be loners, eccentric, alcoholic, or unhappy. So many of these stereotypes force individuals to shy away from an artistic life. Cameron explains creativity as the reason for life on earth, linking creativity to spirituality and a higher power she refers to as God, or the Great Creator. Her perspective is unique in that she asks her readers to consider themselves as conduits, or channels, tapping into the creative energy of the universe and bringing art to life. Cameron encourages the removal of the ego in the process of making art.
A worthwhile and inspiring book for anyone seeking to get in touch with their creativity, The Sound of Paper will challenge readers to go outside of their comfort zone and take a chance on implementing a happier, more fulfilling existence. Aside from the often too details prose regarding New Mexico and the stretching comparisons, the book is filled with solid advice and inspirational stories of creative awakening.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Julia Cameron is probably best known as the author of "The Artist's Way," a course she developed to help others (as well as herself) get over writer's block, although she discovered that the plan worked for painters, sculptors, anyone whose job or life's passion requires creativity. In "The Sound of Paper," Cameron has expanded this vision, offering more exercises and examples, as well as a more personal look at her own struggles as a writer.
Cameron practices what she preaches: She is an accomplished author and playwright, and the book itself is testament to her talent. Her writing appears so effortless, mere musings. Try and copy that! It's no easy task. Even after I was long done reading the book, her descriptions of the New Mexico landscape have stayed with me, inspiring me to create a little of that magic. At the very least, it makes me long for a trip to the Southwest, again a testament to the power of words so carefully crafted.
What Cameron demonstrates so effectively is that to be aware of your surroundings is to make your life your art, and that is the key to it all. Of course, another part of that equation is simply doing art, without the expectation of perfection. And that perfection is a tricky thing, a common trap for artists of all stripes. In the end, what "The Sound of Paper" conveys is much the same as "The Artist's Way." However, this book moves one step closer to illustrating the lessons so clearly delineated in both books, and that is something fine indeed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2014
A very helpful inspiring book. This is made to order for a reluctant artist. Do suggest this book for people who have don The Artists Way
13 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2005
For anyone who has read The Artist's Way, The Sound of Paper will simply be a reiteration of Cameron's philosophy on the writing life and how to unblock, using the same concepts put forth in her earlier work. The text is well-written, albeit there is absolutely nothing new here; as in The Artist's Way Cameron continually pats herself on the back and drops names. The Sound of Paper should be renamed 'The Sound of Money' as it is definitely funding the author's less lucrative creative projects by tapping into her cash cow.
on February 28, 2015
Whether you have read some, all or none of Julia Cameron's books and you love to any kind of writing, for self, for dreaming, for the deep pleasure of interacting with your Soul, as author Janet Conner so beautifully speaks to, this book is a great pleasure to consume. Enjoy.
13 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2005
I have liked some of Julia Cameron's earlier work, as well as one of her more recent (Walking in this World), so I looked through this one at a bookstore, but didn't buy. If she is so creative, why is she writing the same book over and over, year after year (or sometimes twice a year)? She needs to take her own advice: take some time for the well to fill up again. Hers has obviously run dry. It's getting to be rather sad, and embarrassing.