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The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity Paperback – July 17, 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 948 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

With the basic principle that creative expression is the natural direction of life, Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan lead you through a comprehensive twelve-week program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity.

This book links creativity to spirituality by showing how to connect with the creative energies of the universe, and has, in the four years since its publication, spawned a remarkable number of support groups for artists dedicated to practicing the exercises it contains.

From Library Journal

This program consists of segments from the author's book of the same name (Tarcher, 1992). She recommends two ongoing activities that will conquer blocks and self-destructive tendencies: morning pages and artist's dates. Morning pages are three pages of writing, performed daily, about anything at all. This exercise overcomes the writer's internal censor and makes writing habitual, she claims. The artist's date is a weekly block of two hours spent observing, experiencing, and sensing. The balance of the recording describes how the artist can overcome human tendencies such as jealousy, fear, and addiction. This abridgment leaves much to be desired. In her introduction, Cameron states that the audio is an interactive abridgment of her 12-week program. There is nothing interactive about it, however. The sound quality is poor, and the content is similar to the many available 12-step programs. In that sense, it is redundant and will appeal to a very small audience. Not recommended.?Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Ed. Lib.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; 1 edition (July 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874776945
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874776942
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (948 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #74,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Funny, most of the reviews on this book are either ecstatic or disgusted. I see both sides. True, this woman DOES think she has reached it and knows absolutely everything; she tries to put the artistic process (for any artist, amateur or professional, in any medium) in a box; she tries to deny that being an artist has to involve any real work; she teaches you to be selfish; and she is awfully repetitive. THAT SAID, a few of her individual ideas are so epiphanic (is that a word?) that if you come to any one of them for the first time, you will have got more than your money's worth. Though the whole thing IS a bit wishy-washy and new-agey, and though some things she thinks are awfully vital just don't seem that huge to me, some of her points nevertheless can't be missed. It goes on an individual basis--some people really need some of this stuff, others have seen it before. Some of the exercises will show you something, some will seem silly. Give it a try, tailor it to your own needs. The people who will get the most out of this book are the many "silent poets" who have always wanted to try their hand at drawing or dancing or singing but who haven't because they've been afraid of failing or of looking silly. Those with a happy, fulfilling artistic life will roll their eyes over it-but they should realize it is written specifically for people who are dealing with a major block. It's only fair to consider it with that particular audience in mind.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read previous reviews on this book and having dabbled with creativity on and off most of my life, finally, I decided to take the plunge and see if this book could change my life.
WELL? DOES IT WORK, DOES IT CHANGE YOUR LIFE?
Has it? Well Yes and no.
I'm not putting out massive works of art or prose, nor am I comfortable with even the pencil sketches I do. However, I am doing them again. I've had fits and starts of drawing, but this book does help you put that into perspective. You are a beginner and it is okay for your work to look like a beginners. Simple concept. Hard to internalize.
INTERESTING OUTCOME.
What I did find and others who use this program can probably confirm is that it helps get situations out in the open. Family stuff. When you do the morning pages, you ramble. You put down all that trash you are thinking and then you find you work to clean it up. You know all the stuff your kids, your spouse, your co-workers do, that really tick you off. You find you start to address that. Kind of a neat by-product.
MORNING PAGES ARE NOT SO BAD:
My first take on this, is dedicate a half an hour of my precious and sparse sleeping time.....? What are you nuts? Then I tried it. You have a clarity (and a drowsiness) in the AM, that is unmatchable any other time. Also, if you are like me get a whole lot less interruptions. I did the morning pages from 5:15 till 6:00 AM weekdays and after I got up on weekends. Weekends, sometimes I didn't get to them until afternoon. But, each day (except for 1 day in 12 weeks) they were religiously done.
Guess what? I'm hooked. I'm continuing and you might too. Consider this as a book (a life), you are writing, you are directing. What a concept!
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Format: Paperback
This 229-page book is actually a course to free your creativity. The entire course is based upon the principle that the artist must have faith to be creative. It is the author's conviction that the Creator encourages creativity in all people.
The book is broken down into twelve weekly lessons. There are several miscellaneous sections. Each weekly lesson has tasks and exercises to be completed. Sidebars provide quotes and tidbits of information to uplift the soul. The divisions of the manual are as follow:
In the introduction, the author explains how she began teaching and eventually developed her seminars and lectures into a book.
Spiritual Electricity: The Basic Principles defines the ten spiritual principles, gives directions for using this course, and tells the reader what to expect from the course.
The Basic Tools introduces the two primary tools of the course: the morning pages and the artist date. The morning pages are three handwritten pages, penned in stream-of-consciousness, without looking back at the previous pages. The artist date is time set aside to be spent with your inner artist. There is even a creativity contract.
Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety deals with realizing what negative beliefs and hurts from the past are blocking or restricting your creativity and replacing them with positive affirmations.
Week 2: Recovering a Sense of Identity begins with a section called "Going Sane." It deals with the people you surround yourself with in life and how they exert negative influence over your creativity.
Week 3: Recovering a Sense of Power leaps right into anger management, shame, and dealing with criticism. It examines how most people are afraid that there is a God watching everything we do.
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Format: Paperback
I bought the Artists' Way by Julia Cameron six weeks ago and I won't say it's changed my life - yet, but certainly my attitude towards creativity.
Julia Cameron is an award winning American screenwriter who believes that it is our birthright to be creative, but that our creativity is stymied by limiting beliefs, self sabotage and fear. In a 12 week programme, she guides the reader through re-discovering and excavating their creativity by writing morning pages (writing at least three pages of stream of consciousness first thing in the morning) and artist dates (doing creative, fun things at least once a week). There are other exercises which aim to get to the bottom of self limitation and liberate the artist within.
One of the themes throughout is 'showing up on the page'ie writing the morning pages, regardless of mood, enthusiasm and just doing it. I have found this to be a liberation. Before I wrote when I was in the mood, but now realise that moods are temporary and that writing as much as you can on a consistent basis begins to open up avenues hitherto closed.
Another useful theme is taking small steps - before I had to write the great novel -now I realise that writing a letter to a newspaper for example is a valid way of writing and self - expression. 'The longest journey begins with a single step'is a Chinese saying. Here Julia Cameron shows ways of making those steps. She writes of 'filling the Well'and looking after the Artist in you by giving it treats, taking it out to interesting places and doing new things, seeing things differently, creating visual stimuli which reflects the life you want and stimulating the long dormant Artist to create.
Another key theme is that of Synchronicity. As a wise person stated 'Leap and the net will appear'.
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