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429 of 436 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

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195 of 208 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


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429 of 436 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Practising The Artist's Way, 17 Mar 2002
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.
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108 of 112 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
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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.
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184 of 193 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
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76 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most liberating book I have read!, 14 Jun 2001
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.
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86 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely practical book with amazing results, 13 Oct 2006
By 
Patrick Bowe - See all my reviews
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This is an amazing book, packed full of simple exercises that slowly, gradually transform your life. It's all very straightforward - do a few tasks every week (make a list of things you want to do before you die, etc.) and write a daily "journal" (called the morning pages). Really simple stuff, but gradually you find yourself changing as you dig up stuff you hadn't thought about in years.

I was given this book when I was 31 and in the midst of depression that had lasted for several years. I struggled with the book for a few weeks, but once I got into it I started feeling better about where I was (broke, unhappy, generally lost). I admitted to myself that I'd always wanted to write a book and learn how to play guitar and worked up the guts to do something about it.

3 years after being given the Artist's Way I've written a draft of a novel and I'm playing guitar in my first band (a punk band too - at 34 years of age!) And that's the thing - without this book I never would have had the confidence to say "Yes, I'm in my 30s and I'm a complete guitar beginner but I don't care, I'm going to learn how to play just the same." Even outside of art, I now surf, rock-climb, do a whole load of things I never had the guts to try out before. I'm back in the same living circumstances as when my depression set in but I'm a different person - more positive, more creative, much much happier. I still have bad days and even weeks but now I have something to turn to.

I would say this though - there's a strong spiritual side to this book. I've given it to friends who loved it and got into it just as much as I did, and I've also had friends tell me the religious overtone turned them off. All I know is if you're in a hole like I was this book is definitely worth a shot.

The Artist's Way changed my life 100% for the better. It showed me that I'm a passionate person, that I have something inside I want to express, and then gave me the confidence to do something about it.

Julia Cameron, I owe you one.
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70 of 74 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
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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.
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96 of 102 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
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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.
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195 of 208 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
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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...
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20 of 21 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
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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.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are many reasons for reading this book....., 26 Feb 2008
By 
Roger Sharp (Kenley, Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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I am not an artist, and when I read this book I was not hoping to recover my creative self. I was, however, suffering from severe depression and this book was recommended to me. There are many books on depression - I think I must have most of them! - but this is the only one that really helped me on the road to recovery.

It's an easy read, which sets out a simple program that anyone can follow.

Perhaps what it is really about is helping people who feel trapped in a rut make their great escape, by setting out a number of simple, practical steps which are easy to follow. The thinking behind all of the these tasks is explained, but many give additional benefits to the particular person who is reading it.

It contains no mumbo jumbo or pop psychology, just a series of practical things anyone can do in order to move forward. Some may seem odd, but all are easily done.

Above all, this books contains nothing that could harm or mover you backwards.

My personal recommendation is that it cured my depression, and actually made me much more creative.
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