Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY-Recovering from severe creative block

I just finished doing the whole 12-week program in Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY (ISBN 0-87477-694-5). I’m always interested in finding a good book that can help people with writer’s block, so when I heard about hers I knew I’d have to try it out so I could blog about it.

Her book is specifically geared towards helping all artists, not just writers. Also, she tackles dealing with the worst creative blocks–the kind where the artist is the equivalent of a blasted building. Many of the exercises are ways to clear out the rubble and figure out what is to be built on the foundation that is discovered.

What this means is that if you are further along in the journey (you know what kind of art you want to do, you do it regularly, you’ve taken classes, you’ve read other books on blocks such as BREAK WRITER’S BLOCK NOW), you may find yourself getting restless at times. There were a few times when I felt like the book was dragging. But other chapters helped me to clarify attitudes and behaviors that were holding me back (such as Week 6: Recovering a Sense of Abundance, where I had to deal with my feelings about money ). The twelve weeks were all worth doing despite my restlessness.

The book divides itself into twelve chapters, one chapter for each week. Each chapter tackles a different issue that can block an artist, as well as providing exercises to help readers figure out what they might like to try, explore their past, and act on insights.

One is required to write morning pages each day to help get in touch with one’s feelings. Mine tended to yo-yo between insights and utter tedium. The weekly Artist’s date was fun to arrange, but the requirement to do it alone was frustrating at times.

Overall, this is a great book to give to someone suffering from a massive creative block, or anyone who wants to explore their inner artist. I’d encourage the reader with a severe block to do the book, if possible, with an Artist’s Way group instead of alone.

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