The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Book cover of The Artist's Way

Book description

"With its gentle affirmations, inspirational quotes, fill-in-the-blank lists and tasks — write yourself a thank-you letter, describe yourself at 80, for example — The Artist’s Way proposes an egalitarian view of creativity: Everyone’s got it."—The New York Times 
"Morning Pages have become a household name, a shorthand for unlocking your…

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Why read it?

9 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I encountered The Artist's Way by learning to be a professional storyteller in writing and oral presentations. Ms. Cameron combines creativity and spirituality in a logical step-by-step understanding that helped me meet the daily challenges of making a living while charting an unusual and unproven profession. She imbued in me that creative expression in all its forms is the natural direction in life. 

From Pleasant's list on travel beyond three dimensions.

My daughter lent me this book at a time when I was in a creative slump. For years I had been earning my living writing for newspapers and magazines and publishing books, poems, and stories for children. Suddenly I felt I had nothing more to say, that my writing life might be over. I didn’t know who I was if I wasn’t a writer. Cameron’s book offered a different perspective on creativity. I began to follow her program without any real expectation of results. Soon after beginning to produce the daily handwritten morning pages and explore the thoughts and feelings…

I recommend this book because it’s a guidebook for recovering your creative self—and it advocates creativity as a source of strength for everyone. I had been wrestling with giving legitimacy to my own creative desires, and this book helped me to leave behind the ideas of a society (and my New York Orthodox Jewish family) that didn’t nurture, value, and promote genius. The biggest shift I’ve ever had in my life was realizing that a spiritual source supported my creativity—and my creativity deepened my connection to this source. The Artist's Way reinforced my own creative awakening with suggestions to stir…

Not unlike Rico, this author’s goal is to unleash creativity, which is way harder than it sounds. Like me, she believes that creativity leads toward spiritual wellness, and The Artist’s Way strives to help us grow by battling our inner enemies, reclaiming our sense of identity, experimenting with possibility, and having faith in our imaginations. Julia Cameron is sometimes known as the mother of morning pages and, likening this writing practice to prayer, she promises it can “acquaint us with what we think and what we think we need.”

From G.'s list on to get you writing.

This book will motivate you tremendously. Every time I tell another friend about The Artist’s Way, the most common response is, “Oh I love that book!” If a person hasn’t heard of it, within a week it becomes their favorite book as well. If you’re a songwriter, author, composer, filmmaker, or anyone in a creative field, she will show you how to rekindle your motivation using her simple exercises. And when I say “exercises” don’t even think exercises. Just think you’re about to learn a whole bunch about yourself. Very fulfilling! The “artist date” was a highlight for me.…

In my opinion, this is an insightful book. The author says that creativity is the natural order of life, and that life is energy, pure creative energy. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the creator's creativity within us. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.

Creativity is God's gift to us. Substitute the word nature for God if that works better for you. Using our creativity is our gift back to God. Ergo, the refusal to be creative is counter to our true nature. When…

From Jeff's list on to become a self-starter.

This is a big book, and it sat on my shelf for many years. I think I needed the maturity to understand its true power. It’s a book of muses, inspirations, and real exercises. In fact, it’s a program and a workbook too… one that will change your life. It can best be summed up in two words that will change your content creation: Morning Pages.

Based on a class for artists that Julia Cameron taught for years, The Artist’s Way is a warm, welcoming book that explores creative therapy for anyone who feels creatively wounded or blocked. This book takes some time to get through, as it’s structured more as a workbook, with exercises to do over 12 weeks to help you recover different aspects of creativity. Many of the exercises can help in establishing life-long, useful creative practices. 

Okay, this one was kind of a gimme – how could any such list not include this title? I’ll say that I’m not a habitue of either Morning Pages or Artist Dates (mainstays of her program, and which are absolutely sworn by by very many successful creatives), but, still, this book kind of saved me, too – after my big crash. (When I quit writing. Forever. For six weeks.) Cameron is a mensch, a luminary, and her book is one of the single wisest meditations on what it really means to be a working artist.

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