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on 30 September 2000
This book is such an easygoing introduction to writing; at times its gentle encouragement convinced me to pick up pen and paper and start writing immediately! Julia Cameron treats writing as a pleasurable hobby, not as a serious business. At times, this book was more common sense psychology than writing advice. The writing exercises help focus you on writing from the heart, not for profit. I loved every page in this book and can wholeheartedly recommend it.
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on 2 September 2005
The Right to Write has had a dramatic effect on me as a person and a writer. To call it inspirational, as I have done above, is really an understatement. It reaffirms writing as a totally natural human endeavour which is something we forget when we allow ourselves to be bogged down with thoughts about what we 'should' be writing, or the purpose of writing, or what other people think we should be writing, or the outcome of writing (ie publication).
Julia Cameron reminds us that the process is as important as the product. Writing thus becomes a joyful experience rather than a painful or tortured one. For the author, writing is an intrinsic way of of exploring life and what we think and believe. It is a way of digesting our world and of releasing ourselves, of thinking more widely and freely. By the end of the book you will most definitely feel liberated from all your preconceptions and writers block.
For Cameron, letting go of the inner critic and getting into the habit of writing daily, without constantly checking and editing, is a goal we should aim for. It is ingrained in us to censor ourselves, to either find excuses for not starting in the first place, or for over-editing. This manual teaches you how to overcome your fears about facing the blank page. The book is a great self-esteem builder and is like a friend giving you some honest but feelgood advice. In my opinion writing is not simply therapy - it is much more than that. I am afraid that I am incorrigably atheistic, but even I feel that writing can have a deep spiritual dimension.
This is a book about creativity. It is not for those who want to learn the techniques of characterisation, plot, setting, theme etc. It is not in any way like the 'How to Write....' series that abound. It can be used by writers, artists, musicians, almost anybody who has an interest in creativity.
Curiously at the same time as being philosophical it is also of immense practical use. It is organised into short 'essays' on themes and is full of illuminating personal anecdotes and moral stories, without being in any way didactic. Following each essay is an exercise, called an 'initiation tool'. These get you started in a gentle way. For example
- writing a letter from the point of view of your older self to your younger self, giving advice
- making up your own outrageous tabloid story and writing it up
- starting the habit of 3 'Morning Pages' every day
- writing for an hour about your Ideal Life
- writing a list of 100 things that make you happy
It is surprising how these sort of exercises prompt you to enjoy writing for its own sake.
I finish by assuring you that this book with expand you, delight you and teach you. Make sure you buy it.
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on 4 February 2001
This book arrived at Friday lunch time. By Saturday afternoon with 8 chapters to go I had to leave the book unfinished and get down to writing. Such was it's power. Now, a week on, I have filled a pad of A4 with poems, anecdotes, stories and articles.
Julia's advice is just right. Forget about wanting to publish, finding a market, or being a "Great Writer" and get down to putting black scrawl on blank pages. I've taken her advice and got on with writing 3 pages of stream of consciousness A4 longhand every morning. I've found it has helped me find a "voice" in a way I never have before inspite of coming to writing again and again over the years.
Julia Cameron is funny, likeable, and readable. Her book is an exploration of her own methods of working and short, practical exercises to limber up the writing muscles. I enjoyed reading about her life every bit as much about her ideas on how to write.
A good, easy read that opens up endless possibilities. Thank you Julia.
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on 7 March 2001
Deals with almost everything a writer will probably have to face from self doubt to blocks through to 'will I ever get published'. Cameron is a very wise and inspirational woman who can call upon many years of successful writing and teaching experience. A wonderful book to have by your side as your embark on your writing projects.
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on 6 June 2001
This is a writing book that is really worth buying! It completely debunks writing myths that make writing intimidating for beginners, has practical exercises that work & is a great kick starter!
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on 28 June 2005
I can't thank the author enough for writing this book. One by one in my desire to write I have hit most of the obstacles she talks about. This book has helped me overcome all of them: so called 'block', procrastination, self-doubt, other's criticisms, fear of failure, fear of success - you name it, she deals with it. At the end of each section are genuinely effective and inspiring exercises. Her point is: anyone can write, just relax, dig deep into your own well of experiences and emotions and get that pen moving every day even if for only twenty minutes - everything else will follow.
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on 15 May 1999
Cameron has devised a great book with very useful exercises for those of us who want to write again. I was very surprised to find that the chapters really do open the reader up to these unexpected lessons. I recommend this to anyone who wants to return to the writer's mindset and remember what it's like to have a child-like mentality about this craft.
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on 30 March 1999
I have read magazines and journals on the writing life but never anything quite like this. This was an amazing find I simply happened on after listening to Julia speak on PBS. The book was so informative, so stress reducing. If you aren't a writer reading this books makes you want to do just that. If you are a writer, I could see where many of the chapters would greatly assist one to ride the ebb and flow that goes with coming up with the good story.
There is something in this little book for anyone willing to take pen to page. She is some great creativity tips. None of her ideas get in the way of anyone deciding what or how to write. The book is more of a prompt, a lubricant. I am reading the elements without focusing on the exercises at the end but I am glad they are there. This feels like a two read book. One to set the mood, get the process going and when ready, I'll tackle those little chapter endings.
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on 1 August 2000
Julia Cameron reclaims writing for anyone who has wanted to write but doesn't. She systematically blasted away all those brilliant excuses I came up with for not putting pen to paper (lack of time, not believing my work good enough and so on...). Writing stopped being the enormous thing I talked about but never did, and instead became as much a part of my day as doing the washing up (and a lot more satisfying!).
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on 14 May 1999
to by-pass the angst and just write, for its own sake. Invaluable ways to bring out, listen and use the richness of life, its wonders, its horrors, and myself, my aspirations, my terrors and put them on the page. The core point (for me) of the book: writing is not a big deal, it's something that's fun, or more, to do. Julia's voice is so clear, so straight, so fluid. Well worth reading as a guide to living, for the value it places on making a commitment to anything that you truely care about and standing up for it. Wonderfully affirming of the writing life.
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