on 30 July 2007
Although I am a writer by trade, I am not a fan of 'how to write' guides, and so when I was given Cameron's book I had small hopes. However, after the first few chapters, the book quickly warms up and becomes a real eye-opener and an invaluable tool, for artists of every kind.
Firstly, it helps that this book is not a 'how to' at all, though it may appear like one. In fact, it is a practical study of the artistic psyche -- Cameron explores issues such as what causes writer's block, how to cure it, and how to keep it at bay. The exercises at the end of each chapter are more confidence-builders than writing exercises -- and though some (such as one which recommends that you do some mending!) are a little offbeat, others can be real eye-openers and helpful starting points for creating new work.
Furthermore, Cameron writes from an "I've been there" perspective, and starts every chapter with a little glimpse of her own life, which draws the reader in. She also quotes other artists of her acquaintance and is able to give good examples and make practical suggestions for a more productive and creative life.
This book really has changed the way I approach my writing work. A fantastic read -- inspiring and enormously helpful.
on 12 August 2009
This book has well as proving the budding writing with excellent tools for starting out also gives the reader/user a friendly insight into the author as her extracts resemble a diary. At the end of each extract is an exercise to help get the creative juices flowing, but while most of them are written based a few involved pictures and making things, which all adds to the fun and thinking differently to become a better wordsmith. This book has encouraged me to write more regulary and to just get on with it!
on 9 February 2014
I read Julia Cameron's first book ages ago and found it very helpful, not just in terms of creativity but I found some of the CBT techniques just helped me cope with daily life. The way it was written made it accessible, although I have difficulty with her interpretation of God/the divine. This book is much the same in those respects but is better focussed on creativity and writing in particular. Some of the chapters seem to be extracts from her own daily pages edited and polished. The reader has to take what is most relevant to them (for example, I couldn't make a doll but examined loss through writing about it). Other activities are a trite because they can be found in many other self help books - that doesn't make them less effective.
Having said that I am persisting, am using it and find it helpful.