CHARACTERS í The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity


Julia Cameron keeps row after row of journals on the wooden bookcase in her writing room all containing Morning Pages from than twelve years of her life The journals she says listen to her They have been company on travels and she is indebted to them for consolation. 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

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The Artist's Way A Spiritual Path to Higher CreativityOur own eyes Morning Pages prioritize the day providing clarity and comfortWith an introduction and instructions on how to use this journal by Julia Cameron readers will uncover the history of their spirits as they move their hands across the universe of their lives. 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 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 euate 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 goodThe 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 uestion 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 examples that the reader can actually wrap hisher hands aroundCameron 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 uick 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 worksHer 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 side

Julia Cameron í 1 CHARACTERS

CHARACTERS í The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity Ä Julia Cameron keeps row after row of journals on the wooden bookcase in her writing room all containing Morning Pages from than twelve years of her life The journals she says listen to her They have been company on travels and she is indebted Advice humor sanity Now the bestselling author of The Artist's Way offers readers the same companion in which we may discover ourselves our fears and aspirations and our life's daily flow Readers will find privacy a portable writing room where our opinions are for. 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 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 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