Customer Reviews


176 Reviews
5 star:
 (127)
4 star:
 (21)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:
 (9)
1 star:
 (13)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


441 of 448 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practising The Artist's Way
On the flyleaf to this book, Julia Cameron is described as "an active artist". This is very apt because in The Artist's Way we have a very active book with a powerful practical application. Do not expect to read this book and be unaffected by it. I have been personally been amazed by the effect it has already had on my life within under a month of having...
Published on 17 Mar. 2002 by willim@waltham.ac.uk Mark Williams

versus
204 of 217 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone
The blurb on the back tells us this is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. However, you need to understand one very important thing: this book is not about how to be more creative, it's about freeing your creativity. This implies that your creativity has been blocked, which in turn implies that something has gone wrong which should be put right. Julia...
Published on 10 Oct. 2007 by V. Tapp


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

441 of 448 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practising The Artist's Way, 17 Mar. 2002
This review is from: The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self (Paperback)
On the flyleaf to this book, Julia Cameron is described as "an active artist". This is very apt because in The Artist's Way we have a very active book with a powerful practical application. Do not expect to read this book and be unaffected by it. I have been personally been amazed by the effect it has already had on my life within under a month of having purchased it. In fact, the impact was almost immediate.
I originally approached this book in a spirit of curiosity, merely to find out what it was about. The structure of the book is a twelve-week course on getting in touch with and unblocking your creativity based upon many years' successful delivery of the course by the author. Significantly, the term "recovering" your creative self is used so the process is likened to that of someone recovering from say alcohol or drug addiction but in this instance you are restoring the connection with a positive energy rather than abstaining from a harmful practice. If any harmful practice is indeed being renounced, it is the denial or suppression of your creativity. Rather than sign up, as it were, for the course right away, I skimmed through the whole book just to discover its main points. However, the two basic tools for creative recovery I adopted straight away. These are the morning ages and the artist date. The first is a commitment to write three pages, long hand, about anything that comes to mind when you awaken. The purpose of this exercise is to stifle your inner critic and clear out any blockages you might have that are holding you back. The second is to keep a date, on your own, every week for a couple of hours with your inner artist, your "artist child" as Julia Cameron refers to it. The purpose of the artist date is to be receptive so as to "fill the well" of your creativity. Both actions together can be likened to breathing, a rhythm of in (artist date) and out (morning pages).
My initial aim in putting these tools into practice was not specifically to realise my potential as an artist. I wanted to see if they would have a general effect on the way I approached my job and the way I lived my life. What I hadn't anticipated was that I would actually start writing creatively again after a block which has lasted 15 years. I am now engaged in writing a novel, which I manage to work on every day despite a busy and demanding job and my head is buzzing with other writing projects too. It is for this reason that I can so enthusiastically endorse this book.
Do not think, however, that you necessarily have to have the desire to write, as in my case, to find this book of value. The Artist's Way is designed to stimulate every type of artistic endeavour. It can also be applied to bring creativity to bear upon all aspects of your life, from major considerations like career and relationship issues to humble activities like cooking or mending clothes. It doesn't matter, too, how seemingly non-creative and left-brained the profession you are engaged in. Cameron cites the example of stockbrokers maintaining Morning Pages and becoming better stockbrokers as a result. The ultimate benefit of the book, though, if you are willing to put its principles into practice, is to feel that one is leading a more positive, purposeful life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


116 of 120 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic un-blocker! Inspire yourself, 3 Mar. 2001
By 
Tina Mammoser "tina-m-art" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self (Paperback)
I am not the type to buy any kind of self-help book - I gave it a try with this one and it has quite literally changed my life. It's for someone who has the will to try to look within themselves for their creativity, and it helps you see how to find *your* goals and no one else's. It doesn't tell you what to do, but helps you discover that for yourself by looking at your habits, relationship, beliefs and environment. Not for the meek, it takes some strong soul searching and real effort at things that may seem pointless. I'm now working my way through the book a second time and it's just as relevent a year on.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


189 of 198 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Artists' Way PA Tenth Anniversary Edition, 4 Feb. 2004
The Artist's Way is truly a fantastic book. I started working with it over two years a go and although i tend to dip in and out of it, i do my morning pages every day and for this fact alone, i would like to highly recommend the book. It has helped me focus on my creativity and is encouraging, challenging, but also helps you to relax.
However, my main purpose for writing this review, is to warn people that this tenth anniversary edition is no different from the original Artist's Way except for the introduction. I bought this edition thinking that it may have many more insights and new excersises, but it doesn't - so just be warned! The new introduction basically gives and explanation of what Julia Cameron has been up to since she wrote the Artist's Way, which is interesting, but ultimately all that is different about this edition.
I would not say a word against the Artist's Way as it has totally changed my life and i would encourage anyone who is exploring their creativity to buy it!! Just don't expect anything new in the PA Tenth Anniversary Ed . .that's all - i'll be returning mine! But as a true testament to Julia Cameron, i will be returning mine to swap for her Right to Write!!! Sally Gross
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If this book has caught your attention, pay attention, it's worth it!, 16 Jun. 2010
By 
M. C. Lee - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self (Paperback)
This book helped me change my life.. in ways that I would never have expected. I purchased The Artists Way at an extremely low point in my life when I was depressed and spiralling out of control (but completely unaware of it) I'd looked to many self help books but always came back to having this overwhelming feeling I was 'not a creative person' and that something was missing. So I bought this book because I wanted to 'discover my creativity'.. what I ended up discovering was myself.

I believe that no book alone can change your life, you have to put the effort into using what you learn from it. But if you do this and follow just some of Julia's guidance you will see positive changes.

What works about this book is that it puts YOU in control. If you choose to do nothing else but write the morning pages, this tool alone allows you time with your own thoughts and given time an awareness of your own feelings and desires enough to start you wanting to make changes in your life.

But combining the morning pages with artists dates and using any of the exercises makes this extremely powerful. You don't have to work through all the exercises, pick whichever you want, whenever you want - but Julia's advice to do the ones that you have a strong reaction to, whether negative or positive is well worth listening to.

I worked through a step at a time, but not week by week, sometimes I took two months to work with one step, overall it was a year before I'd finished working with the book. Each time I started a new section it was as though she knew exactly what I was struggling with - it was uncanny!

Throughout my journey with the Artist Way I quit a job I hated and started my own business with my husband, freed myself from many damaging relationships, discovered my spirituality, started to overcome a lifelong battle with overeating, got through a close family bereavement without totally losing the plot and discovered a talent for writing and music that I never new I had. I'm now writing poems and song lyrics on a regular basis and my next step will be to learn a musical instrument that I've wanted to do for many years and never previously had the confidence.

Now I know I cannot accredit all of the above to just one book, but the inspiration and guidance I took from Julia's words has been invaluable to me, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I know that without the morning pages that I continue to write almost every day, my life would have been very different. I used to be a stressed out workaholic prone to regular nervous breakdowns and panic attacks. Now I am much more relaxed and 'go with the flow' and my life continues to improve all the time, most of this I accredit to giving myself time with my own thoughts (the morning pages)

I was initially cynical about aspects of the book, affirmations for example - but now I use them all the time! I also know that the word 'god' can be off putting to some. However, I am not a 'religious' person by any means and my advice to you if this is putting you off the book is that if you can just put it aside, be open minded and treat the word as Julia suggests - to mean 'good orderly direction' give yourself permission to suspend your belief system just for a period of time whilst you work with the exercises and just go with the flow and see where it takes you... you will see results.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most liberating book I have read!, 14 Jun. 2001
This review is from: The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self (Paperback)
Wow!
I found this book while recovering from depression and addiction. Friends had been talking about it and I decided to try it for myself. Following the 12 week programme gave me back my love of cross stitch and my creativity. Suddenly I began stitching and designing again when I hadn't done anything for a year. I feel it has given me back that part of my life again plus more as I am now interested in writing creatively. I don't know where it will all lead to but wherever it is it will be better than the place I have been.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Way to Improve & Increase Your Creativity, 1 July 2012
By 
Stuart Aken (East Yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
Subtitled A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self and A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, this is not merely a book, but an instruction manual about how to become the artist you truly are.

Okay, so I may already have alienated the pragmatists and those for whom the idea of artistic creativity is anathema. But stay with me. You, too, will benefit.

The book is the culmination of a number of years of work Julia has undertaken first to release her own creativity and then that of friends, and, ultimately, paying students. She is, of course, a well-known film director, amongst other talents. She lives in a world populated by people who use their creative talent to earn their living and to produce many of those things we take for granted in our daily lives. Creativity is not the sole preserve of the isolated artist living in a dream, after all. It is an element in the everyday experience of most of us, if we're willing to discover it. So, there's something here for everyone. And I do mean everyone, regardless of the type of life and the nature of the work undertaken.

The book guides the reader through a series of exercises and explorations of self over a period that is suggested to be 12 weeks. I took a little longer, as I had 2 weeks of holiday already planned and those weeks interrupted the flow. The exercises, or tasks as she calls them, are essential to the course.

Before you make a decision to experience this book - it is more an experience than a reading exercise - I should warn you that you'll need to approach it with commitment. A partial, casual approach will not work. You must be willing to immerse yourself in all that it entails, if you're to gain from it the lasting and increasing benefits it promises.

As you proceed, you'll find all sorts of excuses not to do certain things, all manner of reasons why you, in particular, shouldn't bother with some aspects. You're too experienced, you're too creative already, you're simply too busy, you're above such considerations, you don't have that sort of problem, etc, etc. But allowing yourself to fail, permitting yourself to face those fears you have buried, will, if my experience is any guide, free you from self-destructive influences you're unaware you have acquired.

I learned a good deal about myself during the course of the weeks. Not all of it was good. But most of what I learned was positive in its influence on my development. There were painful recollections, shameful admissions, abortive attempts at justification and some unexpected unpleasant revelations. But these are all part of the healing process that permits the inner artist to develop and flourish in the materialistic age we live in. To compensate for the unpleasant, there were many unexpected plusses along the way. I discovered really good things about myself, came to understand why I have held certain beliefs, why I have been unable to take full advantage of my gifts and talents, why I have rejected certain helping hands, why I have wasted so much time and effort; even, perhaps, why I became ill for so many years.

Sound a little over the top?

That's what I thought when I started. But I grow daily more certain about what I've learned during these few, important, weeks of my life. I've discovered that I have true gifts, real talents, a fantastic imagination, a unique way of seeing and being. Sometimes the journey has been frightening, sometimes it's been tedious, but often it's been exhilarating, exciting, vital, and full of fun.

I never considered myself a `blocked' artist. I seemed to be moving along with my creative life quite nicely, thank you. But the honesty this course forces upon its students woke me to the real reality (yes, I know, a tautology, but a deliberate one). We spend so much of our lives under the cloud of self-deception that escape is not only considered difficult, for many it is never considered at all, since these individuals have no consciousness of their self-imposed imprisonment.

I think it is clear that I would recommend this book to everybody.

There is a `but'; there is always a `but'.

One aspect of the narrative and underlying philosophy of the book threatened, from the start, to undermine the effectiveness of the course for me. I am a committed and self-defined, one might almost say passionate, agnostic. I'll explain what I mean by that, since it's important to your understanding of my position and argument. I believe that if there is a God, such a force, being, presence - call it what you will - is so far above our understanding as to be incomprehensible. I believe any attempt to define a God must, by definition, be an insult to such a concept and result in a counterfeit rather than the real thing. Since I understand the concept to be ineffable, I am left with the only logical alternative; i.e. I remain open to the possibility of a God but can make no description of such a power and, by logical extension, cannot accept any of the orthodox deities currently worshipped by the many religions that exist. These are, patently, constructs of man in a quest to answer the unanswerable questions and, no doubt, serve a useful, if often divisive, purpose in providing a sort of comfort for those who prefer not to think about such issues for themselves.

So, when Julia Cameron talks about accepting that there is an external creative being, that she calls God (using the `Good Orderly Direction' tag to reduce the objections of the sceptics) I find myself resistant. Initially, this very insertion of the idea of faith into the course formed a barrier for me. But I persevered, putting that aspect on the back burner until I could examine it and find a replacement philosophy. And I'm glad I did that. Persevered, that is. Had I allowed my objection to stop me completing the course, I would have missed out on a very positive experience and failed to arrive at the new place I now find myself, creatively speaking.

As to what alternative philosophy I discovered along the way to replace the God aspect: this isn't the place to detail it. Suffice to say that I found such a concept and am happy to employ that in place of the God facet.

So, again, would I recommend this book? Only to everybody on the planet. Go out and buy, borrow, or beg the volume. Make a commitment to do the tasks and exercises. Make a commitment to complete the course, however long it takes. If you follow it with the required open mind and the necessary effort you will come out on the other side a more creative, balanced and happier person.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


72 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey of self-discovery, 21 Jan. 2003
By 
Jacqueline Brown "tara40" (scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I was rather sceptical when I first bought this book four years ago, it sounded a bit too arty for my liking! however, the book is actually very powerful.The tools of recovery, which are discussed in the book, i.e. morning pages and the artist's date soon became a way of life for me, four years on they are still an integral part of my life.It was by using these tools that I discovered who I was, and just as importantly, who I was not!
I'm not prone to recommending books, but I would encourage people to read this book, buy it if you can't borrow a copy.The journey is yours to discover! Happy travelling.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


204 of 217 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone, 10 Oct. 2007
By 
V. Tapp (Brighton, East Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The blurb on the back tells us this is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. However, you need to understand one very important thing: this book is not about how to be more creative, it's about freeing your creativity. This implies that your creativity has been blocked, which in turn implies that something has gone wrong which should be put right. Julia Cameron tells you the causes of the block, and the Artist's Way is a course of therapy to help you recover. (In each chapter you Recover a Sense of something, eg Compassion, Possibility).

I think the Artist's Way was developed for women of her generation who as children were discouraged from being creative and as adults expected to always put others' needs first. Such experiences mean that a) one doesn't believe in one's own creative abilities, and b) one doesn't have time or space to be oneself. If this is true for you, you may find the Artist's Way very useful.

It is divided into 12 units, one for each week. Although there is a different theme for each week, they didn't seem particularly differentiated to me. Each unit contains a couple of essays on living a better life, as well as some tasks to do; many of them seem to consist of making lists of what you would do/be/buy if you the had time/permission/money. You are also instructed to write 3 pages every morning on whatever is on your mind, and do something enjoyable by yourself as a "date" with your "artist child" every week. Although she says you don't need any religious belief to follow the course, she does talk a lot about spirituality. It has a New Age feel and I think I gave up at the point where I was expected to build an artist's altar and listen to recordings of myself reading aloud my favourite sermons from her book!

Overall, I was disappointed with this book and don't think it did anything to make me more creative. Some of what she writes is interesting, and I liked doing the morning pages - in fact I still do them. However, for me, developing creativity has really been a case of getting into the habit of painting, drawing and taking photographs regularly. I don't find it particularly helpful to blame other people for discouraging me, or to fragment my life into ever more activities and self-indulgences in order to discover my creative self.

If you are thinking of doing the Artist's Way I would recommend you read several units first to see if what she says is true for you. I didn't, and stuck with it for several weeks, hoping all would be revealed, but in the end decided my time would be better spent developing my artistic skills...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating, 25 Oct. 2013
By 
Ggy (London, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is really made of two parts. 30% is interesting content that artists like me have found rather interesting. However in order to get to that 30%, you have to make you way through 70% of religious propaganda. I bought this book based on its title, and I was quite shocked about the never-ending references to god and other religious quotes. I've tried to make my way through the book by skipping those sections that cover "God's wish for me" and only focus on the actual content, but it's an incredibly frustrating experience.

I think even religious people would probably get annoyed with the condescending religious tone, especially European folks.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


99 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Treat yourself - you deserve it, 30 Nov. 2002
By 
Mr. D. Burrell "CoolKiwiBloke" (Wellington, NZ) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self (Paperback)
Working through this book was for me a stage in life that I will never forget. The most freeing thing I got was that creativity has nothing to do with art. At the most basic level being creative is creating my life, its not about painting, drawing, writing, all those traditional expressions of art, unless thats what you want it to be about. The experience I gained was magical. I gained a previously unknown inner peace from working on these exercises. I got to live life as an adventure, where everything is new and anything is possible.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 218 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self
£10.49
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews