The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron [Book Summary – Review]

Could you happily sketch or perform for hours when you were a kid? Have you spent nights under your sheets with a torch, silently writing in your journal while you were meant to be sleeping? 

And how about now: is your life still filled with love for art? Or have you been a secret artist, hungry for inspiration, and trapped in an uptight office? You may have managed to make money as an artist, but you keep grappling with creative barriers.

What your internal artist has silenced, this outline will teach you how to liberate her. 

One bit of advice: the guidance is based on a twelve-week schedule in these sections. Try working on one tip per week if you want to add these blinks to your life. In each blink, you’ll find two tips. 

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Chapter 1 – Communicate with the artistic part of yourself by writing daily and doing new ideas.

You don’t have to begin by composing your magnum opus if you’re trying to reestablish your imagination! Rather, begin with some initial measures that are easier, such as writing daily pages. 

When you first wake up, daily pages help get your imagination going. Sit back, let your hands drift, and write down everything that comes to mind. There’s no need for your daily pages to be imaginative or creative. Assume them as a type of meditation: block the exterior world out and concentrate at the instant on what you’re doing well. Write about the reality that you do not know what to write if you do not know what to write. 

Try to remove the vital, rational portion of your brain while writing on your morning articles. Instead, let the artist-brain take over.  Don’t think about making errors or trying to write something brilliant under pressure. The artist-brain needs to play and explore, let it! 

Once in a while, you just ought to take your creative side to a meeting. Organize a date for yourself: set aside a few hours a week to work on your internal artist. See an old film, go to the ocean, visit a museum, or just go for a stroll. The aim is to be on your own and let your mind float away. 

You’ll notice that the more you discover yourself and the world surrounding you, the more the internal artist interacts with you. That’s why knowing as much as you can about yourself and your environment is so critical. Try out fresh noises, colors, textures, or tastes at all times. 

It can be taking a different path back home so you can see a new part of the city, or stopping to enjoy the dusk sky or the flowers on your way to work, anytime you can, try something new! 

Chapter 2 – Upon conquering your fears and self-doubt, strengthen your confidence.

In our careers, we all deal with difficult times. Yet you can’t get away from them if you want to be more artistic. 

Creative personalities also have to encounter challenging situations to tackle them. Many parents, for instance, prohibit their artistic children from studying the arts because they’re concerned they won’t be able to financially support themselves. 

Sometimes, these individuals become ghost artists. Ghost artists will still be plagued by the artistic life they never got by opting for unsatisfying work, even though they move on to become financially wealthy. 

A millionaire named Edwin is one of the secret artists that the author talked to. He was forced into finance by his father; he now associates himself with artists and art to substitute for the art career he had lost. 

Sometimes, ghost artists wind up in fields similar to the art they enjoy. A ghost poet may, for example, act as a proofreader.

So if you’ve been turned away from the arts, rather than letting go of the negativity correlated with becoming a musician, you need to reflect on the positive facets. Although you have been told that artists are nuts, you have to say to yourself deliberately, “Artists are sane.” 

You must seriously examine what is holding you down. Thoughts also keep talented people, prisoners! Thoughts such as uncertainty can be tragic. Assume, for instance, a novelist who has so much self-doubt that her masterful novel is never sent.

But perceptions are just a single question. People will even drag you down. You could fall victim to a madman, a person who feeds on your affection while simultaneously disrespecting you. Crazymakers are also popular artists. They prefer to associate themselves with artists with talent that is less confident than they are. 

Don’t let an unstable person bully you. Realize: you are the only one in control of your imagination.

Chapter 3 – The method of healing is mentally painful, but it is the only way you can reconcile with your artistic self. 

If you haven’t been artistic for a long period, reclaiming your artistic side isn’t always simple. But don’t be scared! You’ll start discovering weird thoughts and emotions until you start tapping into your artistic inner universe. These findings can be disturbing, but they’re still vital. 

For starters, rage is upsetting, but not necessarily anything from which to run away. Rage will encourage you to step in the correct path. You could watch a film, for instance, and feel upset because you believe you might have done a better job than the actors who played the parts. If you feel that way, take your concerns seriously. Write down your reflections and work for the purpose! 

Art, both for you and your viewer, will also take you through certain sensitive topics. If your job brings them out of their comfort zone, people may rage at you, like a politically divisive script might. Don’t let it put you down if people want to make you feel guilty about your artistic work. You must continue to believe in yourself. One way to do this is to have good feedback on hand for old projects. Don’t let it pull you down with negativity. 

When you discover more about yourself, you’ll even uncover new strengths and weaknesses. An author can still dread the time when she has to face a blank page, particularly after composing a few books. If you are blocked, try asking others for an immediate appeal. Maybe when someone tells you what to write, you’ll be more relaxed, like if your editor wants you to write a Prague post. Nothing is incorrect with calling for a response! 

Rage, resentment, barriers. Once you find these kinds of vulnerabilities, you’re on the right path. They imply that the method of healing works. Remain vigilant and carry on making pages for your morning. They will keep you committed to your objective of reconnecting with the genius inside you that is artistic. 

Chapter 4 – You do not come from somewhere to produce ideas; you discover them in the world and help them evolve. 

When Michelangelo made his iconic statue of David, he said he discovered David – he did not make him. He considered himself, like many famous artists, as a simple object delivering something far greater than himself. He’d been right. 

Artists don’t produce thoughts of their own. They’re out in the world to find them. You’ll no longer suffer from imaginative blocks when you acknowledge this. 

The burden can sound daunting to come up with a genius idea. The problem is, you’re not making an idea any more than you can make a tree. An idea begins as a small seed, like a plant, and you are only responsible for managing its growth. 

In the world, the ‘seeds’ of all books, stories, poems, sculptures, and other artistic works are still out there. Take good care of it when you spot that. Tend yourself to it so it can rise. That’s almost what an artist needs to do. 

You may also notice that there’s a greater force out there that saves you if you keep wanting to take control of these feelings. Fresh concepts will begin to show themselves to you when you are excited about your creative style. You may be given a new acting job or meet at a bar with an editor. 

If you seek, God will help you, but you are always the one who is at the core of your artistic life. If you’re upset with your present position, you’re the one who has to make a move. 

An author named Cara, for example, who had an oppressive agent, was known to the writer. However, he was so popular, she was hesitant to abandon him. Since sending him an especially bad phone call, she eventually fired him. Her spouse got a number from another agent on the very same day. Cara considered the new agent, and since then, they have been working together. 

Chapter 5 – Your imaginative flow can only be blocked by perfectionism, workaholism, and extreme competition. 

Fear is the greatest enemy of an artist. And when things are going fine, it may keep you from following your goals, obstruct your imagination and make you question yourself. 

Fear of error is typically rooted in childhood memories. A lifetime fear of disappointment may be instilled by one unsupportive parent or teacher who assured you that you would never amount to something. 

But you can still make yourself scared.? How? Through expecting so much from yourself. 

Unachievable expectations are very risky, such as trying to write a book during the Christmas holiday. You’re not trying to achieve your targets, and then you’re trying to accuse yourself. You will continue to experience guilt, remorse, resentment, and self-hatred, making it difficult for any artistic flow to come into being. And you’re going to start putting yourself off for not doing something, weakening your self-confidence to the extent that you’re scared to pursue another idea, and you’re going to give up.

Frightening, right? 

But there are two risky and inefficient behaviors you have to watch out for, in addition to the terror you may put upon yourself. 

Workaholism is the first one. By working too hard themselves, some individuals respond to imaginative feelings. And if you think about imagination as the energy about God running through you, it would make sense that certain individuals react and work too hard with such a powerful emotional reaction.

Yet there is counterproductivity to workaholism. Doing so hard makes it difficult to experience the love of Nature that runs through you. It’s easier to encourage the brain to spontaneously pursue ideas peacefully, and not push them. 

Competitiveness is detrimental to innovation as well. It diverts you by bringing the wrong questions to your mind, such as “Why was his film made and not mine?” Stop this pit by posing constructive questions, such as “Did I work today on my movie script?”

Chapter 6 – To get the artistic self out into the sunlight, make a deliberate effort. 

Any artist wants a bit of faith in himself. So whether you want to revive your talented self, to see what could have destroyed your self-confidence, and how you might rebuild it, you’ll have to reexamine your history. 

Begin by thinking back and choosing three encounters from the past that have reduced your sense of self. Each recollection or insight counts, even ones that may sound crazy. If you were offended by Anna because she mocked your third-grade sketches, place that on the chart. 

It will enable you to face up to them and resolve them by recognizing the times that harm your self-confidence. This is the only way for you to recover from the hurt they have caused. 

With dream games, like envisioning your ideal artistic day, you can also develop your confidence. When you first wake up, what will you do? By the end of the day, what would you have achieved?

Envision yourself resolving obstacles as well. Only reassure yourself that you do! 

Another effective way to improve the creative self is by affirmations. Select five positive sentences a week and periodically remind yourself of them. For instance: “I’m a talented individual,” “I have a lot to share,” “My imagination is a treasure,” and so on. 

Often, develop positive routines. Try to get into the habit of sitting and taking a deep breath if you find yourself upset because you don’t accomplish enough in a single day. Stop, then reflect on what you will do for the remainder of the day in a practical manner. 

You should also establish a habit of connecting yourself with more of the little pleasures of life. For no specific cause, pack your house with good smells or wear your dream dress. For yourself, write encouraging messages, such as, “It will make me powerful to treat myself like a precious thing.” 

In a short time, you’ll be back in a productive mood!

The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron Book Review

Activating your creative ability is not simple, but anyone can do it. Only begin with a few easy steps if it sounds difficult: write daily pages, discuss new subjects, and now and then take yourself on a trip. You’re going to find your imaginative self again until you start looking inward and working on your artistic ambitions! 

Get some fun!

The artistic process needs to be fun! So the next time you feel lost, give yourself a nice surprise. Play hoops, ride a horse, climb a rock, or just sit at home and watch a movie. You need to chill occasionally, so you can kickstart your imagination.

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