Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron

Julia Cameron is the author of many books, fiction and non-fiction. She is best-known to me for her works on the creative process, The Artist’s Way trilogy, The Vein of Gold, The Right to Write. But she is also a novelist, playwright, songwriter, and poet. She has extensive credits in theatre, film and television.

Ms. Cameron laments several times in her writings that she doesn’t want to be best known as the lady who writes the creative process books, but lets face it, she has a gift. A tremendous gift for writing essays that encourage writers, that help writers find the tools that can help them.

 

The Artist’s Way – Finding Water – Walking in This World 

Morning Pages

Julia Cameron wrote this three-book series and explores many great ideas. But there are two critical elements she features. Morning Pages and Artists’ dates. One you do every day. One once per week.

What I have found is that her tools are not just for writers, they are for everyone. They are for anyone who is willing to give them a chance. Better yet, her system of Morning Pages, which anyone else might call “journaling,” works. The premise, get up each morning before doing most anything else and writing three pages of long hand that one does not go back and read, stream of consciousness.

The Artists Way

The Artists Way

I had a conversation with a close friend of late who was almost angry at me. “People who live a lifestyle different from yours don’t have time to sit down and write out three pages each morning. That would take me all day.” I should have said, “Have you tried it?” But the person was too angry with me about the whole concept already.

Another has told me, curtly, “I get mad at people who tell me I can solve my problems if I do as they tell me, that I must sit down and do something every day.” Again, I want to tell them, “Have you tried?”

I was seeing a neurologist a few months ago and he became indignant with me when I told him that doing my morning pages had removed my need for professional therapy. “Well,” he said. “I don’t see how that could be. Writing in a journal like that certainly doesn’t meet the standards of professional therapy.”

I was more confident with him than I was with the other two. I replied, “Maybe not. But it’s worked.”

Artists’ Dates

Another tool that has been helpful is her idea to take an hour alone each week and get out of the house and go find a colorful place, alone, without distractions, and absorb color and textures and art and become one with it. New ideas spring to life in the mind. And then I return to my quarters and my mind is full of new ideas.

 

The Vein of Gold 

This book’s critical exercise is the Narrative Time Line. I’ve been working on this exercise for a couple months now. You go through the events of your life and type them out. So far the document is more than 30 pages long.

The Right to Write

This is a series of great essays that are shedding new light on my writing. There are some great quotes in this book. Great ideas and new insights about why we should write every day and ways to look at writing. Here are just a few of the wonderful things Cameron teaches about the importance of writing in this wonderful book.

The Right to Write.

The Right to Write

“If we let ourselves write, we also come to know what we’re doing. We know how to write because writing is what we do. The more we do it, the more specifically and regularly we do it, the easier it is to do: like hammering a nail, you get the swing of it when you do it more often than Sunday repairs.” pg 53

“When we let ourselves write from love, when we let ourselves steal minutes as gifts to ourselves, our lives become sweeter, our temperaments become sweeter. We are no longer envious bystanders standing on the sidelines and muttering, “I’d love to, but…” pg 16

“Writing connects the self to the Self. …It is a medicine all of us can make and administer to ourselves.” pg 95

“Writing is about honesty. It is almost impossible to be honest and boring at the same time. Being honest may be many other things–risky, scary, difficult, frightening, embarrassing, and hard to do–but it is not boring.” pg 139

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