Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Mention: The Artist’s Way

Expand your creativity with Julia Cameron’s renowned book, The Artist’s Way. You won’t be disappointed.

Do you feel your creativity is slammed up against a brick wall and going nowhere fast? You’re not alone. And you’re not stuck permanently either. There’s a great tool to help you take down the wall, brick by brick, so you can fly forward as an artist. It’s called The Artist’s Way, a 12-week personal, at-home workshop for identifying and being true to your inner artist.

Author Julia Cameron takes a tack on creativity that I absolutely love, and that has helped artists of all kinds clear their own personal stumbling blocks out of their way. She says, in essence, that you don’t have to “suffer” to be an artist. You don’t need to cultivate a drinking problem (I’m looking at you, Hemingway) or a drug problem. You don’t need to be a selfish, blocked artist taking out your anger and frustration on other, successful artists.

In other words, you can be well-adjusted and still be a good artist. Cameron argues, in fact, that when you get rid of your baggage, you will find it easier and better to make art. This is a groundbreaking idea in some ways, because it blows the conceit that only troubled people make good art right out of the water.

I’m among the many, many people who have found The Artist’s Way immensely helpful as I pursue writing a novel and maintaining this blog. Cameron’s book is filled with exercises, designed to be done weekly for a 12-week period. You can come back to the exercises as needed. And you can maintain the habit she recommends—writing 3 pages in the morning when you first wake up, about whatever is on your mind the moment you wake up—for the rest of your life.

If this sounds like something a therapist might ask you to do, you’re right; it is. But it’s a great way to get those heavy, weighing thoughts out of your mind and onto paper, where they fall into perspective. The morning pages are especially useful, as they’ll reveal to you what you have a tendency to think about. (I tend to whine about getting up when I want to stay in bed.) What’s great about this is that it helps you see thoughts that get you nowhere, so you can put them aside and decide that they don’t need to keep you from writing, painting, or otherwise creating and living.

Together with a commitment to write daily, The Artist’s Way has become a key to keeping me sitting at my computer working on my writing. And I can honestly say that pushing aside my own roadblocks has helped me to notice some of the more interesting things in my head…like tons of creative ideas for novels. I can live with that. I can create with that, actually.

Bottom line: If you are an artist with a tendency to hit blocks, The Artist’s Way is a worthy investment. It’s widely available. Visit Julia Cameron’s website for more information.

Copyright (c) 2011 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.


  1. I'll definitely be checking this out! How timely as I was just blogging about hitting writing funks when I'm frustrated. I couldn't agree with her thoughts more :)

  2. That's great! I'll check out your blog entry too. Great minds think alike, and solve problems together. :)


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