41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Inspirational and important creativity manual,
This review is from: The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life (Paperback)
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.