Getting Started with Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way”

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The book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron seemed to come at the perfect time. Since I moved from a 100 m2 apartment to a 25 m2 studio, my creativity has been nowhere to be found. Somehow, it just doesn’t come out, even though I really want it to. I miss my sewing machine, my big stash of fabrics, my ten thousand paint tubes, my easel, embroidery projects, and simply the space to be creative. For a long time, I was okay with it, but lately, it started bothering me more and more. I started making jewelry, but after two months, I hit a wall. I had no time, no inspiration, no perseverance, and I was just too busy with my paid job as a freelance writer. And yet, I absolutely love being creative and want nothing more than to launch my projects and gradually expand!

And then, I stumbled upon the book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron by chance. A book specifically written for those looking to reignite their creative fire. It took me three minutes to order it. What can I say, it felt like a must read.


The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

“The Artist’s Way”: a first aid kit for those with a lack of creativity

As far as I understand from the first chapters of “The Artist’s Way,” a lot of fears need to be transformed, and insights need to be gained in order to create without inhibition and without excessive perfectionism. Oh, how typical for me to buy a book that turns out to be more of a self-help book. For years, I devoured such books, but since I no longer need them, I don’t read them anymore.

During the many years that Julia Cameron herself was creatively stuck, she developed a method that she believes can make anyone, young or old, in any field, more creative. She has spread this method through courses and numerous lectures worldwide, and she decided to compile all the material into “The Artist’s Way.”

The Structure of “The Artist’s Way”

“The Artist’s Way” is quite a large book and consists of 12 chapters. Each chapter contains one lesson, which you’re supposed to work on for a week. This means you’ll be engaged with “The Artist’s Way” for 12 weeks. At least, that’s what Julia Cameron recommends. Each week, you’ll receive various assignments (mostly writing assignments), as well as prompts for introspection.

In addition to the weekly course material and individual assignments, it’s also essential that you write Morning Pages every day and take yourself on a date for at least 2 hours every week. An Artist’s Date, to be precise.

The basic principles of The Artist's Way (in Dutch)

The Morning Pages

One of the most significant assignments from the book involves the Morning Pages. These are three pages you must write every morning before starting your other tasks. In other words, as soon as you wake up. So, for the past five days, I’ve been dutifully writing every morning about my dreams, fears, frustrations, as well as what I plan to eat that day, what I need to do this week, and how I cute my boyfriend is. It doesn’t matter what you write, as long as you put down everything that comes to mind. Three full pages. I can imagine that this literally clears your mind, making more space for inspiration and creativity.

The Artist’s Date

The second thing Julia Cameron asks of you throughout the 12 weeks is to take yourself on a date for at least two hours every week. This is meant to recharge your creative energy. You can take yourself to a museum, explore a beautiful natural area, take a creative workshop, or browse a few thrift stores, for example. As long as you enjoy it and it recharges you, it’s a good activity. The idea of “The Artist’s Way” is that your creativity is not unlimited, and you must replenish it. Especially if you use it a lot.

“The Artist’s Way”: Twelve Weeks of Transformative Work

Right now, I’m in the first week of “The Artist’s Way,” and Julia has already surprised me several times with her unique perspective on creativity. Every morning, I write the Morning Pages right after getting up, sometimes while having breakfast, sometimes even before that. On the weekend, I plan to do the extensive writing assignments because they take more time and need to focus on a specific topic, unlike the Morning Pages, which can be about anything.

On my blog, I want to take you along in this process by posting an update every three weeks. It’s great for those who are thinking of getting “The Artist’s Way” and working with it! Will you join me on this journey?

With love, Leonie.

—> Want to continue reading? Click here to dive straight into week 1… 

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