The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron*
SUMMARY: This is a classic work on creativity from Julia Cameron. It’s a 12-week course that helps you to reconnect & recover your creativity.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: This book requires a bit of focus, as it’s not a “light” read. I’d put the brain-power needed at about “medium”.
BEST FOR: Those who long to have more creativity in their life; those who feel “stuck”; those who think they aren’t creative at all… but need an outlet in their life.
“Many of us harbor a secret belief that work has to be work and not play, and that anything we really want to do — like write, act, dance — must be considered frivolous and be placed a distant second. This is not true!” – p. 106
“In order to do something well, we must first be willing to do it badly.” – p.121
“Usually, when we say we can’t do something, what we mean is that we won’t do something unless we can guarantee that we’ll do it perfectly.” – p. 121
“I have come to believe that creativity is our true nature… In a sense, your creativity is like your blood. Just as blood is a fact of your physical body, and nothing you invented, creativity is a fact of your spiritual body and nothing that you must invent.” – p. xxiii
“Just remember, in choosing, that we often resist what we most need.” – p. 4
“More than anything else, creative recovery is an exercise in open-mindedness.” – p. 50
“All too often, we become blocked and blame it on our lack of money. This is never an authentic block. The actual block is our feeling of constriction, our sense of powerlessness. Art requires us to empower ourselves with choice. At the most basic level, this means choosing to do self-care.” – p. 109
WHAT I LOVED BEST: I loved the parts about creative “blocks” — things that get in the way of our being creative. There were a lot of practical examples given, some that I might never have guessed were “blocks” for me. Julia also talks about how we tend to sabotage ourselves… and I’m very guilty of that. She explains how we get scared, so we reach for our “comforts”, and let go of our creativity… maybe just when we were about to experience a breakthrough.
I also really liked that she talks about how movement and exercise are great for creativity… that they inspire us to be more creative, even!
Lastly, I loved the exercises at the end of each week / chapter. Lots of great things that really get you thinking, and get you putting what you’ve learned into practice.
I’d definitely recommend this book, especially if you feel you’re missing something in your life and need that little something to feel lighter and more free. 😉