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.