The Artist’s Way is a 12-week course for breaking out of a creative rut. It has timeless concepts and exercises including morning pages and artist dates.
This workbook by Julia Cameron is a “a course in discovering and recovering your creative self”.
This is the kind of book that you get as much out of as you are willing to put into it. There are 12 chapters with many exercises in each chapter.
The Artist’s Way was first published in 1992, so this is not a new book. There are a handful of minor examples that are a little dated now, but I find the concepts timeless. (I’m working through it now for the second time).
Activities in The Artist’s Way
The two basic activities encouraged are daily morning pages and artist dates. “The morning pages are the primary tool of creative recovery.” You can see a video of Julia explaining the morning pages. In a nutshell, morning pages are “three pages of whatever crosses your mind”.
Artist dates are about looking for inspiration. They are activities you do by yourself and can be anything you want. “An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.”
It’s really hard to pick a favourite quote from this book, so I picked a few:
“…increasing our capacity for good creative work is what this book is about.”
“Remember that in order to recover as an artist, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permission to be a beginner.”
“Often audacity, not authentic talent, confers fame on an artist.”
In addition to the hundreds of sentences I underlined in this book, I love all the extra quotes included throughout the book. My copy of the book has extra space on the left and right margins where there are related quotes and lots of space for notes.
If you like this book, try:
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. Read my review of The Creative Habit.
I give this one 5/5 because I am going through it for the second time and know I will come back to it again.
If you liked The Artist’s Way book review, read all my creative book reviews.
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