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Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance Paperback – Dec 29 2009

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Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance + Walking in this World + The Artist's Way
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; 1 edition (Dec 29 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585427772
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585427772
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 18.5 x 22.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 522 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got started on the Artist's Way series last year and found Cameron's books delightful and also leading the way into a spiritual life by doing the exercises, walking daily and writing 3 morning pages as well as other exercise. Thanks.
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By CathyChamberlin on June 4 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No one that I have come in contact with does creativity with such a wonderful approach to "wholeness" in creativity and the creative life as Julia Cameron. I absolutely love her message and writings.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 50 reviews
101 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Loved It Jan. 9 2007
By J. - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I received a copy of FINDING WATER as a gift almost two weeks ago, and already I can feel it working in my life. I've loved THE ARTIST'S WAY and have done it twice. A couple of years ago I did the sequel, WALKING IN THIS WORLD, which I actually thought was even better than the first book, and really helped me to bring my creativity into the world. Now, with the third book of the trilogy, I can say that it came into my life just when I needed it. It does use the same basic tools that the other two books use, but it deals specifically with finding the strength within to keep going forward, to keep finding inspiration, to keep growing artistically and spiritually. The writing is beautiful, the exercises are challenging (in a good way), and the result for me so far has been a sense of renewal, and of re-connecting to my creative life. I'm doing it with my original Artist's Way group -- we've traveled together for a long time now -- and all of us feel the same way about FINDING WATER: it's great.
54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Julian Cameron Perseveres Feb. 6 2007
By Dede Ryan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The third in Ms. Cameron's trilogy continues her writing legacy. I'll get my bias right out front -- I purchased dozens of "The Artist's Way" more than a decade ago, and continue to gift friends with "The Vein of Gold" and "Walking in the World." Hers are about the only books I buy in hardback because I know I'll return to them again and again. It's not just the guidance that makes her books so compelling. Her phrasing, syntax, ability to draw the reader into her environment and circumstances, makes me keep coming back for more. She is a great story teller, as well as generous with her insights.

That said, her third volume is a bit like watching a train wreck. Especially Chapter 5, as we enter the abyss with her, I began to feel some cracks in the foundation of daily pages and artist's dates. It appears that Ms. Cameron is struggling with her own advice -- "keep the drama on the page." And some of us may feel our own resolve begin to crumble. But as the book progresses, the theme of perseverance certainly proves its value.

Those of us who feel we know Ms. Cameron recognize instantly why she would be walking on mental eggshells. Not only is she not going back to Taos this summer, but she also has chosen to close out her artist's series with this third book. Readers will miss both, and in that knowledge share a small bit of the grief that Ms. Cameron must be experiencing.
42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing Sequel July 25 2007
By Karen W. Ruetz - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I agree that Ms. Cameron's current book sounds more like a cry for help than words of advice. After a life-changing experience of "The Artist's Way" for me and others, the exercises provided in "Finding Water" seem more rote and mechanical than truly enlightening. While there is some artistic merit to the book, I found it to be more of a disappointment than a true creative inspirational piece. A group of friends who formed because of "The Artist's Way" have read the book as a group and have found it to be a big disappointment.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
More brilliant support from Julia Jan. 11 2007
By cj in Seattle - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This new book is GREAT, and it's a logical topic for artists in general and fans of the AW process in particular. (I don't know HOW the previous reviewer could glance at this book in a store and then patently put it down so quickly!) I'm only 66 pages into it, and it's full of wisdom, tips, quotes and exercises, all geared at helping you keep discouragement at bay. Making art is most often lonely and isolating, and its so easy to fall into negative mind-traps... This book is also interesting because it seems more personal and revelatory--it reads almost like her personal diary, so we learn that Julia herself still struggles with her "inner critic" on what seems like a daily basis; and this is after 40 years as an artist and creativity teacher! I find this pretty comforting as I enter my 5th year of practicing my artform and SO wanting to take it to the next level. I can't put this book down, and I plan on reading the 2nd book (Walking in this World) as soon as I'm done with this one. So I may be a little out of logical sequence, but it's all part of the Big Picture as far as I'm concerned. If you have trouble persevering when the going gets tough, I urge you to order this immediately--you really won't be sorry--I think this woman's greatest gift is her ability to nurture the creative spirit in others, with practical, real-world advice.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
The Art of Perseverance May 9 2008
By Story Circle Book Reviews - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Finding Water is the third book in Julia Cameron's trilogy on the creative process which began with The Artist's Way and Walking in This World. I was stalled on a project and looked to Cameron to see what she had to say about sticking to a task once that initial flush of excitement has passed. I thought she would have the magical answers. After all, she has produced some 25 books and has multiple credits in theatre, film, and television.

Guess what. There is nothing magical. The answer is really quite ordinary. Whether you live in a New York high-rise (as Cameron does), or in the Pacific Northwest (as I do), you still have to show up at the empty page, alone, preferably every day. Cameron does the laundry, the dishes, takes the dogs for a walk and to the vet, just like the rest of us. Just because she has published many books doesn't mean she doesn't have to carry out the tasks of everyday life.

"Okay, God, you take care of the quality. I will take care of the quantity." That's the sign Cameron posts at her writing station. She offers the basic tools she has included in all of her books on writing: morning pages, artist dates and walking.

Morning pages, as you may have read in Cameron's earlier books, are three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing, done in the early morning for about half an hour. They're designed to get the kvetching out of your head and onto the page. Morning pages aren't necessarily all bad news, however. Sometimes you find in them the glimmer of a new idea. In this way, the pages become a "gentle mentor."

Artist dates can bring a sense of enchantment and connect you "to a larger and more fascinating world than our normal beaten path," Cameron says. On one artist date, she visits The American Museum of Natural History close to her Upper West Side apartment in Manhattan. You could visit an art gallery, a fabric store, a photo exhibit or see a movie in French with subtitles.

"Solvitur ambulando," St. Augustine is said to have remarked. "It is solved by walking." Cameron recommends walking to increase our creativity. That's when the "sorting process" begins. When we walk by ourselves, we "soon sense that the Divine is close at hand."

There you are: the tools. In each chapter, organized to cover twelve weeks of creative persevering, Cameron asks if you have done your morning pages, your artist date and your weekly walk. To carry the water theme throughout, in sections called Divining Rod, Cameron poses questions and prompts to help readers identify their Inner Censor (for instance) or exploring the art forms they could practice if they took the "easy does it" approach. "Remember, the Grand Canyon was carved a drop at a time." Cameron reminds us in her chapter, "Uncovering a Sense of Perspective." Having visited the Grand Canyon recently, I'd say that's a lot of drops!

Although Cameron's life may sound glamorous to those of us who don't live in New York City and who haven't published several books, it isn't. She struggles to earn a living just as we do, those of us trying to earn a living from our creativity. She has extra challenges, too: alcoholism, depression, and three breakdowns. I think she's a truly amazing woman and I applaud her for her courage and perseverance. She is a sober alcoholic who has learned to live each day very carefully, with writing, walking, praying, and contenting herself with "small amounts of progress." "All of the stratagems I have learned to apply to the artist's life come straight out of the toolkits I have acquired to maintain my sobriety," she says.

Besides using her own suggested tools, Cameron writes three pages a day on whatever project is at hand, whether it's a screenplay, a nonfiction book or a novel. After she reaches this quota, she is free to do something else, such as visit with friends or take in a movie. She wants to wear her identity as a writer as "a garment worn more loosely" and to approach writing as part of normal life. That approach she says, has "served me very well." Just as she doesn't let the laundry or the dishes pile up, she doesn't let the writing pile up either.

Cameron admits that she has found it necessary to repeat herself in this book. But what she repeats is important to our creative lives. The "small and gentle daily actions" lead to the large accomplishments. She waits at the keyboard to hear "what wants to come into being." I had to be reminded that there are really no magical answers. It is with a regular and committed practice that the magic can occur. I am grateful to have Finding Water as a companion and aim to commit to those three pages a day.

by Mary Ann Moore
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women

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