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The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity Paperback – Deckle Edge, March 4, 2002
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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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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 the Audio CD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I do take some of her " insights" with a grain of salt, but other than that, The quality of the book is very well written and enjoyable.
But as part of a book club I was asked to lead the reading and discussion of The Artist's Way so I dove in.
The first thing to know is that this book *is* essential reading. Despite my initial negative reaction to Cameron's writing style (it seemed fussy), I quickly got used to her tone and way of approaching different subjects and ideas. There is some GREAT stuff in this book- things that all artists and writers and other "creatives" NEED to know and think about. I've been an artist now for more than half my life and there was some basic topics in this book that I never even considered before.
The second thing is that while Cameron does put a bit of a spiritual spin on things, it's absolutely NOT necessary to be in agreement with her spiritual philosophies to get a tremendous amount from this book. Take what you need, disregard the rest. For those who are spiritual and open to it, there's a lot of great perspective in this book about how spirituality and creativity are tied together. For those who would rather keep their creative pursuits separate from spirituality, it's very easy to "read around" the bits that do pertain to spirituality. Plus, the spiritual aspect of the book is VERY flexible- it's not solely one path or creed. It's easy to apply the spiritual philosophy to whatever your faith is (or isn't).
Third, and this may be horrifying to some, this book is STILL extremely useful and life-changing EVEN if you don't do the morning pages. I've done the book with the morning pages and exercises and without doing the morning pages and exercises and I've had great success and insight both ways. So even though some may argue that the book/program is useless without the morning pages, I believe that if you can find an outlet similar *to* the morning pages in which you have the opportunity to clear the junk out of your brain and get to the creative stuff (mine wound up being collage, swimming, and gardening), Cameron's advice still works.
This is powerful, inspiring stuff. And I don't say that lightly. No matter what your personal philosophy is, whether or not you can do the entire program (morning pages, exercises, and all) or just want a few pieces of "food for thought" to inspire your creative life, this book is essential.
But getting past that and actually getting into doing the assignments and homework the book ask that you do week after week. I found the book was really helpful. I guess its like anything else where you get what you put in out of it and it’s different for everyone.
I read somewhere that this book might have come out too soon for its own good. I think that if had added what we know today about neurology and how the brain works, instead of the spiritual stuff it would have been better off.
I have recommended this book to others (artist friends) and have had moments where I felt I needed to reread a curtain part or do a curtain writing task again. Underneath the things that turned me off, there really are some priceless gems within the pages. And if you make it too the end of the 12 weeks you’ll be glad you did.
But depending on who you are and how many issues you might have (rough childhood, stuff thats happen to you in the past) I recommend this book with a bit a caution. This book causes you to face a lot of things. So just be ready for that.