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The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity Hardcover – March 18, 2002
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“THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron is not exclusively about writing—it is about discovering and developing the artist within whether a painter, poet, screenwriter or musician—but it is a lot about writing. If you have always wanted to pursue a creative dream, have always wanted to play and create with words or paints, this book will gently get you started and help you learn all kinds of paying-attention techniques; and that, after all, is what being an artist is all about. It’s about learning to pay attention.”
--Anne Lamott, Mademoiselle
“The premise of the book is that creativity and spirituality are the same thing, they come from the same place. And we were created to use this life to express our individuality, and that over the course of a lifetime that gets beaten out of us. [THE ARTIST’S WAY] helped me put aside my fear and not worry about whether the record would be commercial.”
--Grammy award-winning singer Kathy Mattea
“Julia Cameron brings creativity and spirituality together with the same kind of step-by-step wisdom that Edgar Cayce encouraged. The result is spiritual creativity as a consistent and nourishing part of daily life.”
“I never knew I was a visual artist until I read Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY.”
--Jannene Behl in Artist’s Magazine
“Julia Cameron’s landmark book THE ARTIST’S WAY helped me figure out who I really was as an adult, not so much as an artist but as a person. And award-winning journalist and poet, Cameron’s genius is that she doesn’t tell readers what they should do to achieve or who they should be—instead she creates a map for readers to start exploring these questions themselves.”
--Michael F. Melcher, Law Practice magazine
“This is not a self-help book in the normative sense. It is simply a powerful book that can challenge one to move into an entirely different state of personal expression and growth.”
--Nick Maddox, Deland Beacon
“THE ARTIST’S WAY (with its companion volume THE ARTIST’S WAY MORNING PAGES JOURNAL) becomes a friend over time, not just a journal. Like a journal, it provokes spontaneous insights and solutions; beyond journaling, it establishes a process that is interactive and dynamic.”
--Theresa L. Crenshaw, M.D., San Diego Union-Tribune
“If you really want to supercharge your writing, I recommend that you get a copy of Julia Cameron’s book THE ARTIST’S WAY. I’m not a big fan of self-help books, but this book has changed my life for the better and restored my previously lagging creativity.”
--Jeffrey Bairstow, Laser Focus World
“Working with the principle that creative expression is the natural direction of life, Cameron developed a three month program to recover creativity. THE ARTIST’S WAY shows how to tap into the higher power that connects human creativity and the creative energies of the universe.”
--Mike Gossie, Scottsdale Tribune
“THE ARTIST’S WAY is the seminal book on the subject of creativity and an invaluable guide to living the artistic life. Still as vital today—or perhaps even more so—than it was when it was first published in 1992, it is a provocative and inspiring work. Updated and expanded, it reframes THE ARTIST’S WAY for a new century.”
--Branches of Light
“THE ARTIST’S WAY has sold over 3 million copies since its publication in 1992. Cameron still teaches it because there is sustained demand for its thoughtful, spiritual approach to unblocking and nurturing creativity. It is, dare we say, timeless.”
--Nancy Colasurdo, FOXBusiness
Praise for VEIN OF GOLD, the second volume in the ARTIST’S WAY trilogy
“For those seeking the wellspring of creativity, this book, like its predecessor, is a solid gold diving rod.”
About the Author
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I recommend it to EVERYONE, unconditionally. This is a book that lets you into you, that allows you to come to know yourself.
I see why this used to be popular... surrendering responsibility for our own shortcomings is tempting, and apparently a lot of people bought into it. But how can you ever take credit for your own accomplishments if you pawned responsibility for your failures off on a delusion induced by magical thinking?
The so-called practical lessons that you don't have to be religious to take advantage of? Journal for 3 pages every morning and get out of the house one a week. That's it. Everything else is channeling mystical creative forces and mentally infantilizing yourself as a coping mechanism.
Top international reviews
Practical tips for Creatives:
1. Make sure you have enough money to live and if possible, save up enough to pay your bills for 3 to 6 months. If that is not possible try and set aside some time every day or every week.
2. Decide how you want to be creative and book a course, buy an actual artistic instructions book. For this do some research and find living successful artists, who publish books and courses, there is also a ton a free content available online.
3. Do the work. The time you spend on the exercises in this book could be time spent practicing drawing or painting or sculpting or whatever you wish to do.
4. Artistic fulfillment and success come when you learn and practice and experience joy creating. That takes time and effort.
I tried to persevere with it, but I have quickly come to see that this is not really a book about creativity. It's about God, it's about Christianity and it's about all of us being a conduit for His creativity.
I'm sorry, but no. The things I create as an artist are created by me. This books seems to be one big abdication of responsibility for that process.
If you're religious, particular Christian ( as I can't see this being anything but offensive to someone not of that faith ) then by all means dig in. I'm sure you'll get something out of it. All I got from it was more and more furious.
It felt exactly like that time some religious parents of my daughter's friend tricked us into letting our daughter come to church, under the pretence of an Easter egg hunt. It feels exactly like that. Exactly that dishonest.
It's disrespectful in my opinion to just suggest that the rest of us "just go with it". This is effectively a religious text. It has so many sidebars about the nature of God from what I assume are prominent theologians, that I honestly can't see it as anything else.
I had hoped that I could skim it and glean something useful regardless; and perhaps "decode the God out of it" for other people who, like me, are effectively blocked from it by the mind-blowingly brazen, literal evangelism going on in this book.
Trouble is I got to the end of the first sort-of-practical chapter and there so many references to God and being a conduit for him that I simply couldn't stomach it anymore.
I don't mind books like this existing. Those of you that are of a religious persuasion may love it. But for me and many like me, I'm sure, it pretty much sums up my experience of religion as an atheist.
One thing disguised as something else.
I’d just like to point whoever at Amazon is looking at these reviews towards the number of ratings this book has had. In the , what, three weeks since I submitted this review it looks like this book has had almost 700 presumably 5 star reviews. When I submitted originally,, if memory serves I was approx review 352. Now we’re well over 1000 in the space of three weeks. Something is very wrong here.
The premise is Julia Cameron wondered why some people become 'blocked', as in writers block, but also in terms of being able to create and enjoy creating naturally and freely. She wondered why so many folk who 'always wanted to be an artist' never pick up a brush. The results of her mullings and own journeys were this book.
It's a course of insightful personal exercises to enable you to free up and unblock your creativity. Each chapter has a theme; "Recovering a sense of..." Safety, Identity, Power, Integrity, Possibility... etc. Each chapter finishes with a range of hands-on self reflective tasks/challenges you do for yourself which continue the process and put it into practice.
I was taken aback by how deeply and insightfully the prose in the book spoke to me; I have scarcely read something which does that. Though I was skeptical of the bold claims made in the opening chapter as soon as I started doing the tasks, Bam!, I was creating again. That novel I always wanted to do I am now doing, those art classes I was too nervous to take I am now taking...
A very valuable book. And don't be put off by thinking it's all just personal meditations - the exercises are practical 'Do X' and as you do it you begin to see stuff happen.
Firstly, it's hard for me, as an atheist, to believe in anything dictated as God (even Good Oderly Discipline as she tells you to view god if you aren't a spiritual person).
Secondly, the chapters seemed geared towards you, as a child, being told that being an artist is useless or wrong or won't pay the bills or a fantasy; and all your friends/current relationships saying the same now. This wasnt the case for me, at worse people are apathetic, so I didnt feel the emotional connection the book was throwing at me.
Another theme was finding and nuturing the inner child artist... which in some of the activities I found fine, but my issue is to just sit down and damn well write rather than eating jelly and buying new pens - I'm a pro at procrastinating!
Overall I found it helped me to at least write something every day, but ultimately this was another form of procrastination. Some elements/activities/check-ins were insightful, but it wasn't the game-changer I thought it would be.
I would recommend it to anyone thinking of buying it because it is ultimately inexpensive and you should give it a go. I imagine I'll come back to it in the future as others have said.
The wisdom and hard-won experience leaps out of each page and inspires confidence in the reader to explore their own true destiny....knowing that they will benefit from focussing on Julia's suggested disciplines and mental approaches to creativity.....
This book will change your life. If you are a person who likes to think of themselves as "creative" but doesn't know how, in what capacity, or perhaps doesn't even actively engage in anything creative outside of your imagination - this book will give you tools to do it. Unlike other self-help books, the tasks aren't vague; they're solid, specific, and weekly. The course lasts for 12 weeks - it is designed to be intensive so should be carried out according to the time schedule. You can do it independently or in a group (I would recommend independently).
The most important thing is to be open minded with it - I have been raised a strong atheist and there are many, like myself, who struggled with some of the more spiritual concepts. As long as you keep an open mind, and don't fall into a trap of believing you are being converted (this is another form of blocking yourself) this book will come to be invaluable to you.
Even if it's to bring a little light and happiness to your life, whilst engaging in some fun, creative tasks, try it out. There's a good reason why it's an international bestseller and it's entirely justified.