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Book Review – The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Writer Julia Cameron Inspires Many On Their Creative Journey

Almost two decades after Julia Cameron first published, “The Artists Way”, many still find this book a source of inspiration.   I found her book over ten years ago when on a mission to get back that creative passion I once had.  Over the years, my copy has been read and re-read leaving it with dog-eared pages and a rickety spine but I still turn to it when I find myself drifting from my creative self.  These days creativity is becoming more and more prevalent as people reach for meaning in their life.  Being creative takes us away from the hustle and bustle that inhabits our daily lives, stimulates both our brains and our souls. Often people have the desire to be creative have no clue where to start.

Go to any large bookstore and you will find a growing selection of books designed to teach you how to motivate yourself to live a creative existence. There are books on almost every creative genre whether it is writing, painting, crafts or acting. In addition, there are writers that, regardless of the chosen activity, focus on the creative process itself. These writers make it their mission to help you navigate through your creative journey. Julia Cameron is definitely one of the most prolific of these writers.   Cameron who is an artist, playwright, poet and writer herself has firsthand knowledge of exploring and maintaining ones creative spark.  Her expertise is not only shared in The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity (Penguin Putman released in 1992 and re-released in 2002) but she has created a trilogy to address each aspect of what she calls “creative recovery”. “Walking in This World: The Practical Art of Creativity” (Penguin Group released 2002) is basically the intermediate version of The Artist’s Way which helps you to continue your creative growth and the third instalment, “Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance” (Penguin Group 2006) is meant to help those already following a creative path to overcome creative blocks and stagnancy.

In each book, Cameron has two main basic tools: Morning Pages and Artist Dates.

Morning Pages are three full pages written longhand first thing every morning. In these pages, you write without censoring yourself. You rant, dream, worry, create and explore in these pages and they help you to “Keep the drama on the page” and out of your daily routine.

Artist Dates are also a valuable tool to regain creative passion. These are essentially “dates” with your creative self. This time is meant to be spent alone nurturing your creativity. Artist’s dates can range from visiting an art gallery to going to a corner craft store

Each book consists of a twelve-week course designed to gradually get you comfortable with the creative process through the use of tools and exercises which motivate and inspire.

The Artist’s Way has spawned what are called “creativity clusters” which are groups of compassionate readers who get together to work on the course together. Working in such a way can help for many as it gives you a sense of accountability, which can keep you focused and moving forward.

Although this process can be challenging and require courage – growth is not effortless, it takes time but it is an investment in yourself.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”~Pablo Picasso

The Artists Way

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Creativity Coaching:A Coach Can Teach You How To Reach Your Creative Potential

Google “Creativity Coaching” and you will discover thousands of links to people who dedicate their lives to help everyday people reach their creative potential.

Creativity Coaches are life coaches who focus on one’s creative evolution. What they are not are counselors or therapists since they tend not to dwell on past behaviors, but help you focus on improving and redefining the future.

Many artists, writers, musicians, and other creative people live with anxieties, doubts, fears, and worries that often hinder their creative minds. A Creativity Coach’s main goal is to assist and guide you to reach your dreams and to help you live the creative life you desire.

Ultimately, a creativity coach endeavors to help their client write, paint, compose, and find meaning and happiness where the main goal is to create. They enable you to set attainable goals and offer a level of accountability through assignments geared to your specific goal. Most coaches will inspire you to think bigger and to work on developing your ideas and energies into meaningful creative projects. They help you to come to understand and work through creative blocks that stand in the way of your goals.

There are a variety of ways in which you can interact with a creativity coach: telephone, email or personal visits are some of the main methods to interact during a session. Before enlisting the aid of a creativity coach, use the internet to locate coaches and get an idea of what they have to offer. Most coaches offer free newsletters, e-books or free tele-classes to give you a taste of what they do. Getting a good fit can make a world of difference in the success of the coaching experience.

There are also coaches who specialize in a specific creative activity whether it is writing, painting or music. These coaches are geared towards people who are already involved in a specific creative pursuit and need to overcome blocks or habits that are impeding their progress.

Many creativity coaches also pen books which allow one to learn to become their own creativity coach. Books such as “Coaching the Artist Within”, “Fearless Creating”, “The Creativity Book” by Eric Maisel and “The Artists Way” by Julia Cameron offer solid guidance and exercises to help inspire you to delve into your creative side. This may be a great way to get the concept of what to expect from coaching, but books alone cannot replace the positive interaction you would get from working with a coach.

You will learn a great deal about yourself through whichever method of creative coaching you use and you can soon become the creative person you have always wanted to be.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” ~ George Eliot

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