The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is one of the best books I have read on the subject of creativity in practice.
I had no idea even after finishing this book that it is already such a big success and almost a phenomenon. I started reading it because I wanted to figure out something about the creative self. As the tagline of the book title says ‘ A course in discovering and recovering your creative self ’. And I thought it was another motivational book where people tell you to dream big and be there. But as I kept reading, it turned out to be an amazing book.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is a very practical book. In fact, it is more of a workbook than a book. If you follow it, you will be able to break any creative barriers like writer’s block easily.
Julia Cameron gives you basic simple tools that put you in touch with yourself. And hence in touch with the creative being within you. She puts you on a spiritual path. And tells you to become a channel through which the creativity flows freely.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron tells you to appreciate yourself, to free yourself of all the blocks. And surround yourself with all that ignites and nurtures your creativity. It tells you to consciously spend time with yourself, and as yourself.
It helps you tend to your injured parts within your mind and soul so that you are healthy enough for creativity to sprout and grow through you. Julia Cameron tells you to see your creative work as a date or as something that you look forward to doing instead of thinking of it as work.
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron gives you a 12-step process to be taken over 12 weeks. Each week you go a bit closer to your goal of being creative. In between, there is a place where she even tells you not to go back after you have experienced some creativity in your work.
Author’s intention through this course is to help all the blocked artists and writers in removing the blocks that they have.
Her two basic tools are morning pages and artists date. She tells everyone to get into a habit of writing 3 pages every morning. And this she tells you to do religiously, without fail. She does not even tell you to read them. But you must write them as it helps you bring out all the issues that you are holding within yourself. It helps you clear cobwebs so that you know how to help yourself. Despite the situation, you are in and despite the other responsibilities that you have to shoulder. Artist’s date is spending a couple of hours every week with yourself, visiting a new place preferably.
Now I have not written morning pages as she suggests. But I do take an artist’s date every now and then by visiting new places. Most of the times it is visiting a new area within the city I live in. And immersing myself in that place sometimes forgetting who I am. This is one of the most satisfying and in a way spiritual experience for me. So, I can vouch for it. And I think everyone irrespective of whether you are pursuing a creative career or not should practice. I think our lives in general and professions in particular, need creative energy, a basic energy that gives us joy and happiness.
Read the book over several weeks. And even without following it to the T, I could see a surge in my creativity. I wrote far more than my average. And enjoyed doing it more than ever. So if you think you are a blocked creative or would like seeing some creativity in your life, go pick up this book.
Buy The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron at Amazon India or Amazon US.
A highly recommended read for anyone trying to be more creative.