The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

by Julia Cameron

Paper Book, 2002




New York : J.P. Tarcher/Putnam, c2002.


Presents a twelve-week program intended to increase creativity by capturing the creative energy of the universe.

User reviews

LibraryThing member ellamcc
I read the 1992 version when it arrived on bookstore shelves. I reread the 10th anniversary edition (I need not have spent the money) because I've joined a group specifically dedicated to remembering our creativity via The Artist's Way. This is the kind of book that has a lot of pages based on some (actually two) very concrete and concise ideas. There is no need for the length and semi-psychobabble beyond, perhaps, coercing the reader to actually practice what Cameron preaches. Reading the book is useless unless one puts it to practice. If nothing more, reading this book does inspire me to DO the two things (morning pages and artist dates) that she considers essential. And they are the only two reasons to read this book: to understand those two ideas and the importance of them. I can attest that when I did these things religiously, I felt more optimistic and more in control of my life, time and creativity. Hence, I was more productive in a huge variety of ways. There's something to this! Cameron admits that she doesn't know exactly why her method works, but this anniversary edition especially does seek to convince the new reader that it, in fact, does work. I wish there was less hoopla involved in discussing this method, fewer pages dedicated to finding yet another metaphor for the methods and more concrete examples of putting the ideas to practice. However, because of the very clear direction, there's no need. The ideas are covered completely in the much shorter companion workbook, so the bulk of this original manual is convincing readers that IT WORKS!

My other quibble is not at all with the book but with the multiple spin-offs this book has inspired/caused. There exists a date-book (do not bother) and a workbook (redundant but worth it for some exercises or instead of this book) and then come all sorts of spin-off books, the latest being a weight loss via morning pages manual. While I don't doubt that morning pages and good self-care (also stressed but nothing original) are helpful in weight loss, this screams "cash cow" to me. The basic two "commandments" remain the same: write morning pages every day and take yourself on the Artist's Date every week. Many have found that when you do these two relatively "simple" (but amazingly complex) things, MANY goals will come to light and be achieved. I think, perhaps, this basic book is all one really needs to learn the program.
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LibraryThing member KR_Patterson
Absolutely amazing and life-changing. For all artists, or people who want to be artists, or people who want to just live a more creative life. It really did change my life.
LibraryThing member bitcolorine
Definitely not a very helpful book. If you need creative boost go for The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. I liked that one.
LibraryThing member wordygirl39
I like this book, though sometimes it gets a bit new-agey. A little over-wrought with Baby Boomer wisdom. But, she got me writing and I am working at it every day.
LibraryThing member wyvernfriend
An interesting book that I may have to re-read and follow at some stage. It asks you to examine why you don't do creative things and argues that creativity is part of life.
Inspirational and interesting
LibraryThing member PacificBlue
The Artist's Way has a sometimes cult following, with many creatives attempting (but often not finishing, by the sounds of it) the twelve week programme to re-energise our creative beings. I attempted this in January 2008 with a small group of keen digital scrapbookers on an online community. By Week 6 only 3 remained, and I was one of them.

I found the author's style quite dry, and particularly hard to get into at first, but there was a lot to think about, and something that triggered most people into some kind of interpretation. I continue to use the Morning Pages concept most days (unless I'm writing fully that day) and some of the other exercises were very interesting.
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LibraryThing member bookcrazed
Whether worked in a group or individually, Cameron has created a "course" that fosters personal discovery.
LibraryThing member JohnGray
It says Artists, but substitute manager, leader, parent, teacher ... any creative endeavour will benefit from these simple disciplines.
LibraryThing member cainmark
Very useful book that works "under the surface" to free up your creativity when blocked.
LibraryThing member ablueidol
Sadly don’t make use of this and other like this. I seem to undermine my creativity. I use many of the skills and insights in work as this is cutting edge policy and practice linked to change management. Yet when it comes to writing and story telling I am always too “busy" to give it priority. I do attend a storytelling circle and my stories are usually well received and I have the opportunity to do this as a professional and know what to do to make this happen but don’t. I know what to do to start writing but don’t. I know one root is that I don’t want to fail even though I am a risk taker and know the failure of failing. Other reasons perhaps don’t want to be faced. Yet I am surrounded by friends that are musicians, painters, writers who all say that I am the “one” person who they can share and explore the ideas and feelings about their art so they are clearer of the next step. Physician heal thyself?… (more)
LibraryThing member mmhubbell
An extremely helpful book for "dysfunctional" artists -- if you can get past the self help, theological language. Good basic self empowering psychology. I highly recommend it to those who "wish they had time to make art" and can't understand why they never do.
LibraryThing member LynnCoulter
inspiration and encouragement and a great kick-in-the-pants to work for every kind of artist. i just wish Cameron had gone ahead and referred to her divine source as God, rather than repeatedly calling it Good Orderly Direction. I suppose she did not want to offend non-believers, but her later books clearly call her source, God.… (more)
LibraryThing member Elfpath
Subtitled "A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity", this book is about more than just art, and you don't need to be an artist to find something of value in it. That said - everyone can be creative, and thus an artist. And since creativity's opposite - destruction - is often the result of unchanneled energy, it is a healthy occupation for everyone working on discovering their own spirituality and intuition to create. This book helps you with that.

"The Artist's Way" covers a topic per week (or, per chapter), and covers subjects like recovering a sense of identity, power, integrity, abundance, connection, strength, autonomy, and many more. Each chapter gives you some theory, and a list of tasks to do that week, as well as a list of questions to see how it went.

Both for students of the Intuitive Arts and for other artists, this book offers a wonderful way to get in touch with the creative aspect of yourself, and to ask yourself some fundamental questions. It's also a lot of fun.
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LibraryThing member sacrain
I love this can work at your own pace, with a group of strangers or with your's just an awesome outlet/generator for creativity. Just thinking about this book again makes me want to revisit it...
LibraryThing member melydia
I confess, I didn't do this as a twelve-week course. I tried a couple times, but realized that I was never going to be able to set aside three months for a self-guided class, so I went ahead and read it straight through. I suspect I waited too long, as I am not creatively blocked anymore. The ideas in the book are very good - the morning pages in particular are a useful habit to have. I wish there was a little less God talk, but the cover did warn me that this was a "spiritual journey" so I can't really complain. The thing is, so many of the things attributed to God don't have to be - for instance, unblocking your creativity doesn't necessarily mean that God's giving you more opportunities, just that you're more open to spotting and pursuing said chances. But anyway, if you want to be more creative and just can't seem to get yourself to do it, try this out. It certainly can't hurt.… (more)
LibraryThing member vallib
This book has done so much for me and my creative self. I highly recommend this to anyone who is struggling with their creativity.
LibraryThing member Talbin
The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, is far more new-agey and spiritually focused than anything I would normally gravitate toward, but part of my current self-exploration is to read and do things that in the past I would not normally have done. At this point, I have read through the entire book once and have just completed the first week of the twelve-week course. I have yet to see if it works for me. However, I can already tell that the two main principles - writing the daily morning pages and going on a weekly artist's date - could be very helpful.

I'll check back in after eleven more weeks to see how this worked for me.
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LibraryThing member Madamxtra
God truly does work in mysterious ways. How could I have know that the prayers called out (on the weekly prayer-line) in the name of Jesus, would be right in line with my reading of this book? The boogeymen of my past were called out, urging me to remember the hurtful words and rejection letters that caused me to put my writing on the back-burner. I am fortunate to have broken away from the crazy-makers in my life by going into seclusion a few years ago. As a do-good-er, my self imposed hiatus was met with loads of opposition – but I knew that I would die one day and with the kids all grown, it was time for me to go for my own gold.

Most artists have encountered criticism (constructive or otherwise) that results in squelching their sense of wonder and creativity. This book holds the key to recovering all that has been lost by harsh words, put-downs and having proverbial mud thrown in the face of our work. The book also contains exercise of healing that bring fruition to the dreams of doing the things that put our gifts and creative abilities to good use for the Glory of God.

On the flip-side, I was charged to recall all the supporter, encourages, up-lifters and genuine admirers of my workmanship. So many beautiful people whom I thank God for, as they understood and assisted my artistic growth.

Thanks to the wisdom imparted by the author, I have returned to my love of writing with much vigor and expectation of connecting with an appreciative audience.

Your Gift Will Make Room for You – Proverbs 18:16
Julia Cameron has given the world a precious gift…SMILE!!!
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LibraryThing member JolleyG
This book is not just for artists. It is for anybody who wants to live their life more fully and creatively. I undertook the practical course offered in this book and experienced many breakthroughs. Although I no longer do the Morning Pages as prescribed by the author, I do my own version of them and continue to do many other things that were suggested. Whenever I recommend this book to others, they are always very grateful afterwards.… (more)
LibraryThing member TheCrazyQuail
The Artist's Way is a great book. I have read it through more then once but I have yet to complete the 12 weeks of the course.
It is a tool for the unblocking of artists of any kind. Which means that anyone with a interest in living life creatively would enjoy working though this book.
The staples of Julia Cameron's program are the Morning Pages and Artist's Dates. Both of which are well described in the beginning of the book and are used though out the 12 weeks of the program (and beyond if you are so inclined).
I feel that this book was written with a wide range of accessibility, and is a worth the time to work through, you will find it will change your life. I have found it has already, and I am still working though it.
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LibraryThing member leslieww
Life-changing, in a long-term way
LibraryThing member jen.e.moore
About half useful, one-quarter unutterable fluff, and one-quarter actively hurtful Positive Thinking crap. The useful is seriously useful, though, and I have taken copious notes.

(I read this because I've been doing morning pages for years. I see now why this is the only element of her process that has really been mainstreamed.)… (more)
LibraryThing member anneearney
This was the book that got me into writing.
LibraryThing member krazykiwi
I've had, I don't know, four copies maybe, of this book over the years. One fell apart, dog eared and tattered, the others were lost or lent and never came home.

I guess it's testimony to how good it is that I keep replacing it.

That said, I think this is a love or hate kind of affair. If you are aiming to spark creativity, of any kind, it's very well worth your time picking up from the library and finding out which camp you fall into.

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LibraryThing member ClearlyKrystal
It's a textbook on cataloging so obviously not for everyone but I found it very useful, well laid out, and knowledgeable on the topic.



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