“No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”: The Artist’s Way
I’ve been holding on to The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron for a long time. This is a book that has to be lived rather than read. The author based her book on the creativity workshops that she held in New York. The lessons themselves came from her own attempt to kickstart her life with creativity. The book is organized int0 12 chapters. The idea is to unleash the spiritual electricity within that will help you write or paint or do anything that you desperately need to do but are unable to. There are many quotes by qualified creatives scattered throughout the book and that adds to the inspiration quotient.
This is the kind of book that makes you guilty if you don’t follow it through. You can do it alone or with a group of like-minded dying to be creatives. And go by the weekly schedule, putting in 7-10 hours a week if you want to gain from the exercise. You need to sign a contract with yourself before you embark of this journey of self-discovery!
Two of the popular exercises in the book are Morning Pages and the Artist Date. You must have heard of those. The Morning Pages is filling three pages as soon as you wake up and brush your teeth. This takes out any censors that we may have embedded in our brains. The Artist Date is spending two hours a week with yourself, doing what you like to do. This is especially hard for adults and now increasingly even for students who are caught up with work, chores and the business of living.
Cameron provides some tasks at the end of every chapter. Some questions need only yes-no answers while other questions or instructions are more elaborate. As you go further into the book, you will see that you are probing your own self. Do you remember your childhood room? Do you like that memory? Questions like this, she says, take you deep into yourself and trigger some longing to connect with the artist child in you. Even if you are defiant about the questions, answering these questions opens up a wellspring.
This book is all about recovery as Cameron believes that there is an artist in each of us who has disappeared because of the rut and must now reclaim herself. Get a personal copy(it’s expensive but an interesting buy) if you really think you need to recover the creative flair within and if you believe a book of inspiration can save your creativity.