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

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

The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vital today—or perhaps even more so—than it was when it was first published one decade ago, it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work. In a new introduction to the book, Jul...

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Title:The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
Author:Julia Cameron
Rating:
ISBN:1585421464
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:237 pages

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

  • Rosie
    May 04, 2007

    I read and did the exercises in this book during the most intense professional and personal time in my life. It was a life-changer because it allowed me to articulate my life purpose which is fundamentally about using my voice and helping others to find theirs. I recommend this book often.

  • Lena
    Jul 26, 2007

    This is a really difficult book for me to rate. At the time I first read it fifteen years ago, it did wonders to open me up creatively. I was still struggling to slough off some negative parental programming about being a writer, and this book (along with a good friend) helped give me permission to explore that side of myself.

    Since that time, however, my belief system has changed so radically that I no longer agree with a number of the book’s fundamental premises. For this reason, it would be ha

    This is a really difficult book for me to rate. At the time I first read it fifteen years ago, it did wonders to open me up creatively. I was still struggling to slough off some negative parental programming about being a writer, and this book (along with a good friend) helped give me permission to explore that side of myself.

    Since that time, however, my belief system has changed so radically that I no longer agree with a number of the book’s fundamental premises. For this reason, it would be hard for me to recommend it now. I do think it contains some good material in the form of useful exercises and uplifting stories about creative development. But those come with heavy doses of New Age spirituality and recovery beliefs that will likely make the book inaccessible to anyone who doesn’t view the world through that filter.

  • Kathleen
    Sep 28, 2007

    A book to cheer you on when you feel like you can only look longingly at your passion (writing, painting, drawing...) because the dog needs a walk and the kids need a bath, and you've bills to pay so you've just come home from a job that took you from the house and back to it without a glimpse of the sun.

  • Pewterbreath
    Jan 08, 2008

    Look, for writers and artists whatever inspires you to create is a good thing. However, I found this book (For me) to be too "I am an artist, I am bohemian, I create" attitude. Writing (or any of the arts) has a greater verity for my when it's a little less "GIFT OF THE GODS" and a little more "craft." The most successful creators view their work as a craft in the same manner that a furniture maker or a bricklayer would, in my experience. Also when one focuses more on craftsmanship rather than i

    Look, for writers and artists whatever inspires you to create is a good thing. However, I found this book (For me) to be too "I am an artist, I am bohemian, I create" attitude. Writing (or any of the arts) has a greater verity for my when it's a little less "GIFT OF THE GODS" and a little more "craft." The most successful creators view their work as a craft in the same manner that a furniture maker or a bricklayer would, in my experience. Also when one focuses more on craftsmanship rather than inspiration it makes for better work as well.

  • Annie
    Apr 07, 2008

    Another book that has changed my life! (See also:

    !) I have started this book many times and not finished my 12-week (or more) commitment, but this time, when I got to the point where I wanted to give up, I kept on going, and let me tell you where I am now, as a result of this:

    I pitched my memoir to agents in February.

    I am taking acting lessons.

    I have started wearing clothes I like every single day!

    I am planting a garden.

    I have taken up knitting.

    I am taking ballet classes.

    I

    Another book that has changed my life! (See also:

    !) I have started this book many times and not finished my 12-week (or more) commitment, but this time, when I got to the point where I wanted to give up, I kept on going, and let me tell you where I am now, as a result of this:

    I pitched my memoir to agents in February.

    I am taking acting lessons.

    I have started wearing clothes I like every single day!

    I am planting a garden.

    I have taken up knitting.

    I am taking ballet classes.

    I am treating myself to massages, manicures, and trips.

    I write every single day.

    I have started working on my memoir again after a long withdrawal period, post-graduation.

    I am having more fun and playing!

    I am discovering myself.

    If you are interested in doing this, please feel free to contact me. I am going through the book again, and I would love to work it with other people!

  • Jerome
    Jan 19, 2009

    My New Year's resolution for 1998 was to finally actually DO the Artists' Way. I had given it to several people close to me for the last three holidays, but I had never actually done the process. This is not a book to read. It is a book to do and it promises major life changes in 13 weeks. I was desperate to find a new way to make a living and decided to give this my best shot. 13 weeks later there was no epiphany. I still didn't know where to go, so I started over from the beginning. Two weeks

    My New Year's resolution for 1998 was to finally actually DO the Artists' Way. I had given it to several people close to me for the last three holidays, but I had never actually done the process. This is not a book to read. It is a book to do and it promises major life changes in 13 weeks. I was desperate to find a new way to make a living and decided to give this my best shot. 13 weeks later there was no epiphany. I still didn't know where to go, so I started over from the beginning. Two weeks later, week 15 it dawned on me and I saw a way out and I knew what I had to do to get there. It changed my life.

  • Kate
    Feb 13, 2009

    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, a

    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 more.

  • Byron
    Sep 18, 2011

    On the whole, the key to the Artist's Way is selfishness. That is something I fundamentally disagree with. You should not skip your child's soccer game to paint your masterpiece. Your kid is the masterpiece. All of the relationships in your life are masterpieces. I use that as an example but there are other moments in this book where self-indulgence at the expense of others is encouraged. This is loathsome.

    So why didn't I just give the book and the program a 1-star rating? Because there are some

    On the whole, the key to the Artist's Way is selfishness. That is something I fundamentally disagree with. You should not skip your child's soccer game to paint your masterpiece. Your kid is the masterpiece. All of the relationships in your life are masterpieces. I use that as an example but there are other moments in this book where self-indulgence at the expense of others is encouraged. This is loathsome.

    So why didn't I just give the book and the program a 1-star rating? Because there are some very good ideas in there. Namely the morning pages. They grow tedious for me but I do find them effective. Also, I highly recommend taking an hour or two out of your week to have an adventure in the world by yourself. This really is a great way to stimulate your creativity, no matter what your craft is.

    Overall, if you want to try this program, go for it and recognize which parts do and don't work for you. However, I must warn that there is an ugly side to what Julia Cameron preaches here and I won't endorse that.

  • Gayle Pitman
    Jul 18, 2012

    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 l

    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, more 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 more 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.

  • Michael Laflamme
    Aug 31, 2014

    The 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 more 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 ina

    The 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 more 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 equate 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 good.

    The 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 question 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 more examples that the reader can actually wrap his/her hands around.

    Cameron 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 quick (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 works.

    Her 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 sideswipe your momentum. This is the approach that I believe will work best for me and my writing.

    © 2014 M. Romeo LaFlamme