on October 28, 2013
Although this book very good, it is not one that can be read just once - like a novel. I find that I am going back over what I've read to try and put things in perspective. It is NOT what I would call "easy reading". There's nothing in it, so far, that I haven't heard before; it's just put together from the writer's point of view to enhance her message.
on April 22, 2002
This is not an unabridged reading of the Artist's Way Book. It is an author read abridgement and Julia Cameron herself opens the audiobook discussing the abridgement process she and her friends went through to boil the book down for this audiobook.
The material covered here is good and insightful, and that's why it still merits three stars. It's worth listening to, but you deserve to know what you're getting.
on May 25, 2001
Cameron's approach to reawakening the creativity that resided in all of us as children rests on two seemingly simple practices: commit yourself to three pages of journal writing every morning as soon as you wake up; and schedule a play date with yourself every week, for you alone, to share with no one else. What you discover about yourself as you write these pages and allow yourself the space to play might very well turn your world upside down. The rest of "The Artist's Way" discusses how to deal with the raw, emotional self that has been buried for so long, particularly the anger and grief that will likely emerge when you realize how much of yourself you have buried in your adult life.
These two simple actions are remarkably effective. Cameron encourages the reader to persevere, even if it means beginning by writing three pages of "This is stupid; I have nothing to write." It takes time to develop a relationship with anyone, even oneself.
Cameron's later books, "Vein of Gold" and "The Artist's Way at Work," merely reiterate, rather than develop, the themes she presents in this seminal work.
on March 25, 2001
This is one of those books that finds it's ways into the nooks and crannies of your life, and one day you just break down and buy it to see why it keeps popping up. It's been reccomended to me by a teacher, a musician, and another musician - all three of them songwriters, one a graphic artist, and only one making a living at what they do (the teacher). I'm a writer, musician, and beginning songwriter, not to mention business professional, and a human being on planet Earth.
I'd seen this book dozens of times in bookstores (I spend lots of time in bookstores) but never picked it up. I went into it thinking it would be silly, but I was surprised. The Morning Pages & Artist's Dates were sound advice. Something I'd been doing for years, even though I had no name for it. I write all the time (especially commuting to and from work), and do plenty of stuff that would qualify as "artist's dates". I firmly believe that if you want to do something, just do it, don't think about it, don't analyze the best way into it, just do it.
As I got deeper into the book, I felt it... how can i say this. I felt it stopped taking itself seriously. It seemed like Julia Cameron gave you great tools for beginning the journey, but as she was showing you the map, she glossed over parts. So she gives you the keys to the car, points out in vague terms the destination, and really glosses over the key sightseeing parts and stumbling blocks along the way. Maybe this is done on purpose (so we each find our own path), I don't know.
I just felt like, the two key points of this book were:
1) Write for 45 minutes a day, in the morning. Write about anything, just keep your pen moving across the page (very Natalie Goldberg-esque advice)
2) Do something interesting, by yourself, once a week. This way you have new, fresh imagery for your art (prevents you from falling into a 'rut')
That's the car, the keys, and the map. No get out there and do it!
Oh, and the section on Crazy Makers was great. How true, how true. I was, and now see in the world, people who flock to artistic types so they can feel more artistic. I also see artistic types who enjoy the attention of a flock. I'm not sure it's healthy for either one of them. They both need to learn something about independance and self esteem.
I also reccomend:
o Anatomy of the Spirit by Carolyn Myss
o After the Ectacy the Laundry by Jack Kornfield
o the Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz
o On the Road by Jack Kerouac
o Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life by Natalie Goldberg
o the Passionate Accurate Story by Carol Bly
o the Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri
o Stein on Writing by Sol Stein
o Writing Music for Hit Songs by Jai Josefs
o Tunesmith by Jimmy Webb
o Songwriters on Songwriting by Paul Zollo
want to talk more? e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
on May 26, 2000
Although this is a well written book that has helped many people who are blocked creatively, I couldn't get past a pivotal hurdle. This is that each day you have to write extensive journal pages called "Morning Pages." I tried getting on listservs to get myself motivated to make it through but I discovered that other people had the same problem I did doing those pages. However, these materials were really intended for those experiencing total creative block which I was not experiencing at the time I tried it. A friend, who was experiencing creative block, found this book much more useful than I did. If you are actually experiencing a creative block in any creative activity, you may want to try this book and/or take the accompanying course work which goes with it. This book also can be used for writers with creative block, which the title does not make clear.
on May 17, 2000
I was initially inspired and as excited as all the other reviewers below, and even found that my creative juices were flowing once again.
Unfortunately, it just took up too much of my time. The morning pages alone usually took me almost an hour to write (maybe I needed a larger ruled notebook?) It's all great if you're a professional freelance writer, but tougher if you're in the more likely situation of needing to hold down your 9-5 (or 9-7).
I found that the exercises cut into the already sparse time I had left in my week to concentrate on my music. My morning pages were full of discovery, but I had little time left to take care of my art or my body (even Ms. Cameron advises to stay healthy).
It's all wonderful stuff, but just doesn't take real world time constraints into account. Be ready for that.
on August 12, 2001
I cannot give a complete review due to the fact that I have not read the book all the way through yet. I first began reading this book in 1993 as part of a course I took in college. I felt something strong towards it almost from the very beginning, but did not complete the reading or the morning pages.
Due to many changes I have experienced in my life lately I decided to pick up the book again. I think the book is great, but I have not gotten to the great stuff yet, if that makes sense. I am about half way through the book, I am doing the morning pages, have not started the artist dates yet, but I have some questions and would like to know if there is an email address to contact the author.
on January 27, 1999
The book was full of wonderful wisdom and motivational exercises for artists and wannabes, however, the constant use of the "God,creator, higher power, etc." reference made it difficult for me to concentrate on the book and to hear and digest the wisdom in the book. I've tried twice to read the book but havn't been able to get past the religous aspect. I guess I misunderstood Ms. Camron's use of the word "spirituality". I think it's a shame that this book can only be enjoyed by those who share Ms. Cameron's belief system.
on May 4, 2016
It is a self help text, and the author is, so to speak, quite simple person coming across as fascinated by foreign words she doesn't understand and random 'celebrities' barely known to anyone . Despite simplicity, the text has useful ideas on how to combat procrastination.
on April 19, 2008
I "borrowed" this book from an old employer, back in 1995..(sorry, Peter)
and read it through over the next couple weeks, then tried to do the Morning Pages...not sure how they're supposed to help...all I got after the requisite 8 weeks was depressed reading about how I needed to spend more time writing and less time wasting time (like writing pages about how I should spend less time writing pages about spending less time???)
Yes, she replace GOD with some New-Age-y term, but I found her hippy dippy approach to everything really tainted the entire book with this sense of writing and c reativity being both muse-driven AND a craft at the same time...pick one, Cameron...either you need to feed some inner spirit to get back on track or you have to approach it as a job and crank out the prose WITHOUT having to wait to be inspired....not BOTH...
Ultimately, I think there are better writing guides out there and better guides to unblocking yourself...
The best thing about this book, however, is it's the first in her series, which eventually become unbearably pretentious and condescending drivel from a woman whose main claim to fame was her marriage to Marty Scorcese, who, unlike Julia, is actually talented and successful in the movie biz...