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Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance

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This third book in Julia Cameron's bestselling trilogy on the creative process-beginning with "The Artist's Way" and "Walking in This World"-offers guidance on weathering the periods in an artist's life when inspiration appears to have run dry. Julia Cameron presents a new twelve-week program for addressing those periods in an artist's life when inspiration is lacking. Fin This third book in Julia Cameron's bestselling trilogy on the creative process-beginning with "The Artist's Way" and "Walking in This World"-offers guidance on weathering the periods in an artist's life when inspiration appears to have run dry. Julia Cameron presents a new twelve-week program for addressing those periods in an artist's life when inspiration is lacking. Finding Water offers advice and wisdom about tackling the most challenging issues an artist faces, such as: - making the decision to begin a new project; - persevering when a new approach to your art does not bear immediate fruit; - staying focused when other parts of your life threaten to distract you from your art; and - spotting possibilities for artistic inspiration in the most unlikely places. This powerful new installment in Cameron's groundbreaking body of work on the creative process will guide readers to discover enduring inspiration-it will lead them to water.


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This third book in Julia Cameron's bestselling trilogy on the creative process-beginning with "The Artist's Way" and "Walking in This World"-offers guidance on weathering the periods in an artist's life when inspiration appears to have run dry. Julia Cameron presents a new twelve-week program for addressing those periods in an artist's life when inspiration is lacking. Fin This third book in Julia Cameron's bestselling trilogy on the creative process-beginning with "The Artist's Way" and "Walking in This World"-offers guidance on weathering the periods in an artist's life when inspiration appears to have run dry. Julia Cameron presents a new twelve-week program for addressing those periods in an artist's life when inspiration is lacking. Finding Water offers advice and wisdom about tackling the most challenging issues an artist faces, such as: - making the decision to begin a new project; - persevering when a new approach to your art does not bear immediate fruit; - staying focused when other parts of your life threaten to distract you from your art; and - spotting possibilities for artistic inspiration in the most unlikely places. This powerful new installment in Cameron's groundbreaking body of work on the creative process will guide readers to discover enduring inspiration-it will lead them to water.

30 review for Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Conelli

    After reading The Artist's Way and Walking In The World, I didn't know what to expect when I opened Finding Water. I thought everything had been said, discussed and done. And I was wrong! I must say that Finding Water is my most favorite book of the series. This book is much more focused on inner guidance and reveals more details of Julia's life in New York. As a New Yorker who loves her city, I know the places Julia writes about, I know the wonderful changes of Central Park throughout the year, After reading The Artist's Way and Walking In The World, I didn't know what to expect when I opened Finding Water. I thought everything had been said, discussed and done. And I was wrong! I must say that Finding Water is my most favorite book of the series. This book is much more focused on inner guidance and reveals more details of Julia's life in New York. As a New Yorker who loves her city, I know the places Julia writes about, I know the wonderful changes of Central Park throughout the year, I know how inspiring the city can be if you're just willing to watch and listen. Finding Water is a very deep, comforting and soothing book that feeds and encourages your soul. This book will help you understand that if art is your purpose, you never stop pursuing it regardless of circumstances. And that even after many, many, many years devoted to your art, the reality may not always be a sunlit rose garden. In Finding Water, Julia doesn't promise you fame, wealth and money. Instead, she opens your eyes to new possibilities and to the true meaning of your art. Art is something that is born deep within your heart and that does not depend on outer validation or recognition. It depends only on you and on your love, passion and perseverance. And by the way, if you're a New Yorker like me, Finding Water will encourage you to fall in love with your city again. And if you're not, you will take the book and fly to New York just to watch the eagles in Central Park and be inspired.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte

    Back when The Artist's Way first came out, I read it and I was into it. It inspired me. The format suited me. Anything where you are asked to make a list is for me. I love my lists! So recently I saw this on the shelf at the library and decided to read it. It was the beginning of a new year and seemed like a good time to read something like this, to ignite my creativity and feel motivated. To be fair, I skipped the second book in the series since it didn't happen to be on the shelf at the librar Back when The Artist's Way first came out, I read it and I was into it. It inspired me. The format suited me. Anything where you are asked to make a list is for me. I love my lists! So recently I saw this on the shelf at the library and decided to read it. It was the beginning of a new year and seemed like a good time to read something like this, to ignite my creativity and feel motivated. To be fair, I skipped the second book in the series since it didn't happen to be on the shelf at the library. I also didn't take it week-by-week and do all the assignments like a good girl. Given that, I did not enjoy this even half as much as the first book in the trilogy. It is basically the same as the first one: Artist's Dates, Morning Pages... I got it. I'm not saying it's bad advice. It's just not new advice. And the tone was different, more depressing. I guess that's because it wasn't about how to get started but more about how to keep going. Even though I do not consider myself a critic, there were some things that bugged me. Here are my complaints: -This really felt like it was more about being a recovering alcoholic than anything else. She admits that she is in AA and openly applies the 12 steps to getting past creative blocks. I can see how this might be useful and I'm glad the program works for her. I just didn't relate to that aspect. I have a friend on Facebook who is a recovering alcoholic. He posts hundreds of inspirational quotations, mostly Christian-based about perseverance and positive attitude. There are pictures of sunsets on the beach or ballerinas along with the affirmations. I am tempted to block him. THIS is how I saw this book, down to the distracting quotations in the margins. -There was too much God talk for my taste. Maybe this is an addendum to my first gripe. -She talks about her dogs a lot. I don't care about her dogs. -She uses the word "husband" as a verb a LOT - over and over! I almost wanted to keep score. Speaking of husbands, she used to be married to Martin Scorcese. This fact is irrelevant except that it leads me to assume she's not exactly poor. That, and she describes her apartment on Central Park. It also doesn't really matter if she is rich or poor except that... poor people (creative or not) do not have the luxury of dwelling on stuff like this. And when I look at it like that, it sort of makes me think that her (totally valid, understandable) struggles are sort of "made-up". This is starting to sound mean and unfair and I don't want it to. It's all relative. I'm no better. I appreciate that she is continually trying to improve herself and that she is sharing her struggles and successes with others. One more thing... She talks a lot about how the art comes through her rather than from her. She's not alone. This is a common way of describing the artistic process - as if you are merely a conduit through which the ideas flow. You just have to listen and execute. This is not my experience. I wish it were. It sounds cool. When I am creating something, I do get into "the zone" (that's what I call it) but I don't feel like it is separate from me. Maybe I'm not there yet or never will be. The only time I did feel the way she describes is when I was pregnant. I was creating something but I was simply the vessel through which something larger worked. While the results were awesome, I didn't particularly enjoy that process. I'm too much of a control freak.

  3. 5 out of 5

    da AL

    Another great Cameron book on nurturing one's creativity... Another great Cameron book on nurturing one's creativity...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cath Van

    Twelve weeks of reflection and writing is the format of Julia Cameron's series of workbooks about the creative process. There are: 'The Artist's Way', 'Walking in this World' and 'Finding Water, the Art of Perseverance'. I have many books by her and have read parts of all of them. 'Finding Water' was the first book I used as the workbook she meant it to be. Twelve weeks is a very long time and it didn't feel like that. Looking back what I mostly liked about the book and the twelve weeks is comin Twelve weeks of reflection and writing is the format of Julia Cameron's series of workbooks about the creative process. There are: 'The Artist's Way', 'Walking in this World' and 'Finding Water, the Art of Perseverance'. I have many books by her and have read parts of all of them. 'Finding Water' was the first book I used as the workbook she meant it to be. Twelve weeks is a very long time and it didn't feel like that. Looking back what I mostly liked about the book and the twelve weeks is coming back to it day after day and just sit, read, reflect and do my writing. And once again I have experienced how much writing helps me to stay uncluttered. I've already pencilled in an appointment with another book by her, same time next year.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Of the three books, The Artist's Way, Walking in this World, and Finding Water, I feel that I have gotten the most from Finding Water but I believe this would not have happened had I not worked through the previous two first. Each book builds upon the previous one so I would recommend that anyone wanting to gain the most from the series start at week one of The Artist's Way and go from there. I started The Artist's Way in February of 2015 so I definitely took my time. I don't think going through Of the three books, The Artist's Way, Walking in this World, and Finding Water, I feel that I have gotten the most from Finding Water but I believe this would not have happened had I not worked through the previous two first. Each book builds upon the previous one so I would recommend that anyone wanting to gain the most from the series start at week one of The Artist's Way and go from there. I started The Artist's Way in February of 2015 so I definitely took my time. I don't think going through all three books week after week with no break would be as beneficial. You need to have time to reflect on what you are learning each week and some weeks take longer than a week to really digest. Working through the books has been a positive experience that I highly recommend for any creative person that is looking to better understand themselves, the process of creation and their place in the world as a creator. My only regret is not doing these as part of a group. I know that there are Artist's Way groups that meet and work through the weeks together and I think that would have added even more to the experience. Talking through each week on the podcast was beneficial for me but I think group interaction would have been even better. I can see myself eventually going back through The Artist's Way again because I am curious about what new insights I would have working through the weeks with the knowledge I have now versus going through it for the first time.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie Elwood

    If you've read The Artist's Way, you've read this book. Actually, if you've read the first three chapters of this book, you've read the entire book. Much of it revolves around her alcoholism/sobriety and her relationship with God, so I'm not sure why she has such resistance to being labeled a "self-help" author. If you've read The Artist's Way, you've read this book. Actually, if you've read the first three chapters of this book, you've read the entire book. Much of it revolves around her alcoholism/sobriety and her relationship with God, so I'm not sure why she has such resistance to being labeled a "self-help" author.

  7. 5 out of 5

    JoyfulK

    This book kept me interested. It encouraged me to pay attention to my creative life. There were many exercises that were short and helpful, and some more extended exercises that I sometimes did and sometimes skipped. I picked up this book because I found The Artist's Way very helpful, and I hoped this book would help me increase my perseverance on projects I choose. However, it turns out to be focused not on perseverance in general but on perseverance with an artistic career. The focus is very m This book kept me interested. It encouraged me to pay attention to my creative life. There were many exercises that were short and helpful, and some more extended exercises that I sometimes did and sometimes skipped. I picked up this book because I found The Artist's Way very helpful, and I hoped this book would help me increase my perseverance on projects I choose. However, it turns out to be focused not on perseverance in general but on perseverance with an artistic career. The focus is very much on developing a daily habit of doing your creative work---treating it like showing up for a job rather just doing it when the inspiration strikes. This is an extremely necessary habit for the working artist. However, given that my primary career is not artistic (and that I'm not trying to go there right now), it wasn't as helpful to me. However, the suggestions towards building a supportive system for your work (whatever it is) and the focus on persevering despite one's mood helped me. If you don't currently plan to be a working artist and want to open up your creative spigots, check out The Artist's Way, Cameron's earlier book. If you're a working artist, or you want to be, Finding Water is a good choice.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Cain

    As much as I have loved Cameron's other books, The Artist's Way, Vein of Gold, & Walking in this World, I did not enjoy Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance. Maybe this writing was cathartic for Cameron. And maybe it will be helpful for those who are at a critically low point to feel they're not alone. I don't know, however, if it will help to energize them into the next level of creativity, however - & that's really one of the main reasons for using Cameron's tools. She's a master! The book com As much as I have loved Cameron's other books, The Artist's Way, Vein of Gold, & Walking in this World, I did not enjoy Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance. Maybe this writing was cathartic for Cameron. And maybe it will be helpful for those who are at a critically low point to feel they're not alone. I don't know, however, if it will help to energize them into the next level of creativity, however - & that's really one of the main reasons for using Cameron's tools. She's a master! The book comes from a perspective of being at a low point & needing fuel to persevere, so if one is not at that juncture, I would recommend another Cameron offering.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Julia's books always make feel like I have a friend I haven't met yet. She shares her viewpoint, her motivation, and her fear of becoming a blocked artist. She has great strategies for simple solutions; Morning Pages is a great tool for clearing the clutter in your brain. She is also a passionate walker, which we have in common. Step by step, she accepts new challenges in her creative life . She talks like a friend, not an Writer of Authority. She has a big heart, and a vision to share. Take a s Julia's books always make feel like I have a friend I haven't met yet. She shares her viewpoint, her motivation, and her fear of becoming a blocked artist. She has great strategies for simple solutions; Morning Pages is a great tool for clearing the clutter in your brain. She is also a passionate walker, which we have in common. Step by step, she accepts new challenges in her creative life . She talks like a friend, not an Writer of Authority. She has a big heart, and a vision to share. Take a stroll around Central Park with her & Tiger Lily , look at the trees in all kinds of weather, and feel better about life in general. :))

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I did not follow Julia's advice step by step as I did with her first book in the trilogy, but this is still an inspiring and helpful book. After reading it cover to cover, it remains an essential part of my library because it's easy to pick up for a quick shot of inspiration, or to get back on track if it feels like the well is starting to run dry. I did not follow Julia's advice step by step as I did with her first book in the trilogy, but this is still an inspiring and helpful book. After reading it cover to cover, it remains an essential part of my library because it's easy to pick up for a quick shot of inspiration, or to get back on track if it feels like the well is starting to run dry.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    I'm so glad I found Julia Cameron's work. This is the 4th book I've read of hers. Her work is uplifting. It gives you hope that your creativity still exists and can fulfill its destiny in your lifetime despite the many challenges put before you in this troubled world. Look into the Artist' Way as a primer. I'm so glad I found Julia Cameron's work. This is the 4th book I've read of hers. Her work is uplifting. It gives you hope that your creativity still exists and can fulfill its destiny in your lifetime despite the many challenges put before you in this troubled world. Look into the Artist' Way as a primer.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Satia

    With nothing really new to offer, and a confessional Cameron sharing how depressed she is, this was not a book I enjoyed reading or from which I drew any inspiration. For more: http://satiasreviews.blogspot.com/201... With nothing really new to offer, and a confessional Cameron sharing how depressed she is, this was not a book I enjoyed reading or from which I drew any inspiration. For more: http://satiasreviews.blogspot.com/201...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katrina Sark

    p.13 – In creativity, as in running, you have to start where you are. p.18 – There is no such thing as a missed day of dog walking. Even in the thickest snow or the fiercest cold we venture out. In seeking to nurture our creativity, we, too, need adventures that can be counted on. I call them “Artist Dates.” As the name suggests, we are out to romance or woo our artist. We do so by taking a weekly solo expedition to do something that is just plain fun. p.19 – The intuition that we are connected p.13 – In creativity, as in running, you have to start where you are. p.18 – There is no such thing as a missed day of dog walking. Even in the thickest snow or the fiercest cold we venture out. In seeking to nurture our creativity, we, too, need adventures that can be counted on. I call them “Artist Dates.” As the name suggests, we are out to romance or woo our artist. We do so by taking a weekly solo expedition to do something that is just plain fun. p.19 – The intuition that we are connected to a power greater than ourselves is one of the first fruits of Artist Dates. There is a sense of wonder that enters our lives the moment we slow down enough to give it access. p.105 – Optimism is an elected attitude, a form of emotional courage. It is a habit that can and must be learned if we are to survive as artists. p.232 – So much of making art is like running a marathon. We may have to run the race ourselves but it is tremendously helpful to have friends who can cheer us on. The courage to create is the courage to make something out of what we are feeling. Quotes “The material itself dictates how it should be written.” (William Faulkner) “There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.” (Thich Nhat Nanh) “A multitude of small delights constitute happiness.” (Charles Baudelaire) “Happiness walks on busy feet.” (Kitte Turmell) “Solitude is needed to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character.” (James Russel Lowell) “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to life.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) “Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes.” (Henry J. Kaiser) “Work and love – these are the basics. Without them there is neurosis.” (Theodor Reik) “When a woman tells the truth, she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.” (Adrienne Rich) “Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.” (Faith Whittlesey) “One needs something to believe in, something for which one can have wholehearted enthusiasm.” (Hannah Senesh) “A friend is one before whom I may think our loud.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) “When unhappy, one doubts everything; when happy, one doubts nothing.” (Joseph Roux) “For everything you have missed, you have gained something else.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) “What we call fate does not come into us from the outside, but emerges from us.” (Rainer Maria Rilke) “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” (Mahatma Ghandi) “We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” (Carl Jung) “Talent develops in quiet places, character in the full current of human life.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) “We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.” (The Talmud) “I am not an adventurer by choice but by fate.” (Vincent van Gogh) “When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.” (Eleanor Roosevelt) “If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.” (Emily Dickenson) “Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether.” (Thomas Carlyle) “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi) “Tell me thy company and I’ll tell thee what thou art.” (Miguel de Cervantes) “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” (Antoine de Saint Exupéry) “A classic is a book that has never finished saying all it has to say.” (Italo Calvino)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Claire

    I thought that this book was very much the same as the other books in Julia Cameron's published books. If you're into that kind of thing, it's interesting. If you don't really mind, then it doesn't really matter either way. In this work, she has resources such as for Alcoholics Anonymous and for opening up your own Creative Cluster. As I don't particularly partake from AA, I just smiled, took the information, and looked to put this up here. I thought Transitions: Prayers and Declarations for a C I thought that this book was very much the same as the other books in Julia Cameron's published books. If you're into that kind of thing, it's interesting. If you don't really mind, then it doesn't really matter either way. In this work, she has resources such as for Alcoholics Anonymous and for opening up your own Creative Cluster. As I don't particularly partake from AA, I just smiled, took the information, and looked to put this up here. I thought Transitions: Prayers and Declarations for a Changing Life was better. I think I have a lot of her books. What I liked most as in this author's other books were all the arbitrary quotes on the sides. So it's basically more of the same, besides what I mentioned. If you wanted more, there's not really a whole lot besides a few inspirational quotes.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Courtney

    I’ve finally finished reading Finding Water as part of my Artist’s Way class. I’m curious enough to want to return to the first book and work through it rather than just read it as I did a few years ago. This book was very focused on Cameron herself, the writing life, and getting through times of struggle and depression. I think the first more general text might have been a better fit for our class, which included creatives who are not writers and struggled with the narrow focus. I did think the I’ve finally finished reading Finding Water as part of my Artist’s Way class. I’m curious enough to want to return to the first book and work through it rather than just read it as I did a few years ago. This book was very focused on Cameron herself, the writing life, and getting through times of struggle and depression. I think the first more general text might have been a better fit for our class, which included creatives who are not writers and struggled with the narrow focus. I did think the “divining rod” sections were worthwhile exercises and highly recommend thumbing through the book to do one or two of those a week as part of your “morning pages” work. Much of the rest of the book felt like repetitive memoir and not very useful to me.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Meli

    This book generated much thoughtfulness and precipitated several mindful practices. Several of those I've only jotted down, but I know when the time's right I'll begin to practice them. You know Cameron is of quality cloth by so many of the quotes she shared. It can be a little uncomfortable to read about others' struggles, right? Especially when you don't know them. But the source of that very raw sharing is the same source of all the advice and wisdom she imparts, and there's MUCH generosity i This book generated much thoughtfulness and precipitated several mindful practices. Several of those I've only jotted down, but I know when the time's right I'll begin to practice them. You know Cameron is of quality cloth by so many of the quotes she shared. It can be a little uncomfortable to read about others' struggles, right? Especially when you don't know them. But the source of that very raw sharing is the same source of all the advice and wisdom she imparts, and there's MUCH generosity in that wisdom. I have my morning pages. I need to work on the "extras" - like artist dates, etc, but I'm so grateful I found this gem to enhance my own daily grind....

  17. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Having just finished the Artist Way trilogy I had hoped for more original mini projects in the second and third book. They all drive home the point “just do it” but analogies drive home the point in new and meaningful ways to understand how to nurture our sprit so we can be a conduit for art. Despite the redundancy I look forward to reading a chapter a week to boost my spirit and brain storm ideas for artist dates. I love this series for the simple fact it gives you permission to take twenty min Having just finished the Artist Way trilogy I had hoped for more original mini projects in the second and third book. They all drive home the point “just do it” but analogies drive home the point in new and meaningful ways to understand how to nurture our sprit so we can be a conduit for art. Despite the redundancy I look forward to reading a chapter a week to boost my spirit and brain storm ideas for artist dates. I love this series for the simple fact it gives you permission to take twenty minutes out of your day to tune into your needs.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis

    Julia Cameron lets herself be very vulnerable in this third volume of The Artist's Way Trilogy. I led a thirteen-week group and some of the workshop participants were put off by her sometimes dark view of the world. I emphasized to my workshop that Julia always showed the way out of the dark, and that it was necessary to write about the dark too. The book is full of solutions and ways to live a creative life. Highly recommended read, especially as a group. Julia Cameron lets herself be very vulnerable in this third volume of The Artist's Way Trilogy. I led a thirteen-week group and some of the workshop participants were put off by her sometimes dark view of the world. I emphasized to my workshop that Julia always showed the way out of the dark, and that it was necessary to write about the dark too. The book is full of solutions and ways to live a creative life. Highly recommended read, especially as a group.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maya

    This third installment in The Artist's Way franchise turned out to be the best one for me. I finally understand artist dates! There are sections that feel repetitive and at times I wondered if I was reading the results of Julia Cameron's artistic sagging middle. In the end, it doesn't matter because by showing us her underbelly, Cameron proves her point even more. Keep on keeping on, my fellow artists. This third installment in The Artist's Way franchise turned out to be the best one for me. I finally understand artist dates! There are sections that feel repetitive and at times I wondered if I was reading the results of Julia Cameron's artistic sagging middle. In the end, it doesn't matter because by showing us her underbelly, Cameron proves her point even more. Keep on keeping on, my fellow artists.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jess Manchester

    A dog eared copy of The Artists Way resides on a shelf in my bookcase. It is an invaluable tool. I wanted to love this book as much as I love that one, and while Cameron's voice has helped me persevere this book strangely only caused me to yawn. I felt like I was Bill Murray in the film Groundhog Day while reading. Perseverance is earned one rejection at a time that didn't cause mt to give up. A dog eared copy of The Artists Way resides on a shelf in my bookcase. It is an invaluable tool. I wanted to love this book as much as I love that one, and while Cameron's voice has helped me persevere this book strangely only caused me to yawn. I felt like I was Bill Murray in the film Groundhog Day while reading. Perseverance is earned one rejection at a time that didn't cause mt to give up.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Teri Temme

    Morning Pages are always valuable - I never know why I stop! They are already helping me to clarify the direction of my life. Thank you Julia! Great vignettes of NYC through the seasons.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Maedeh Havaei

    I loved it

  23. 4 out of 5

    Imran Syed

    An action is worth a thousand books

  24. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Wonderful read for those artists who need support and guidance for perseverance

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katharine

    There is nothing new in this book; if you've read any of Cameron's other books you already know everything here. Diaappointing. There is nothing new in this book; if you've read any of Cameron's other books you already know everything here. Diaappointing.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Several years ago, I tried to do Julia Cameron's Artist's Way program. I never got past the first week. I simply could not get into the habit of writing Morning Pages. I am a visual artist; as much as I read, writing does not come naturally to me. I would much rather make pretty pictures on (or with) paper, or sew whimsical creatures out of fabric. And so I abandoned it. I picked up this book, which is the third in the Artist's Way series, a few years later, and it had been languishing on my shel Several years ago, I tried to do Julia Cameron's Artist's Way program. I never got past the first week. I simply could not get into the habit of writing Morning Pages. I am a visual artist; as much as I read, writing does not come naturally to me. I would much rather make pretty pictures on (or with) paper, or sew whimsical creatures out of fabric. And so I abandoned it. I picked up this book, which is the third in the Artist's Way series, a few years later, and it had been languishing on my shelf ever since. Finally I decided to read it. However, being the stubborn individual that I am, I decided to simply treat it as a book of essays. I did not do the exercises, I did not agonize over writing Morning Pages every day, I simply read through the essays. I must agree with some of the other reviewers that many of the essays in this book are rather depressing, but I guess that one would not need to read (or, for that matter, write) a book about perseverance if everything was going well. I know these lessons are meant to apply to artists and creative people of all types, but it really annoyed me that the visual arts were hardly ever touched upon. Cameron is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, and scripts for film, TV, and theater, and a musician as well, and these were the arts that her lessons seemed to focus upon. Visual arts generally only came up when she mentioned her sister, who is a visual artist. I guess it's an example of writing what one knows. Anyway, I'm intending now to go back to the original Artist's Way book, and read just the essays there. I hope that one has a bit more meaning for me than this one.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ganesh

    It is easy to look at a work of art, like an exquisite poem, and assume that one could never create anything as inspired. Cameron reminds me that great art requires more than inspiration -- it also requires working long hours when one is feeling less than inspired. A friend recently sent me clip of a Malcolm Gladwell talk in which he critiques popular notions of genius and achievement. We tend to focus on Good-Will-Hunting-style acts of genius – seemingly effortless and performed in isolation. Gl It is easy to look at a work of art, like an exquisite poem, and assume that one could never create anything as inspired. Cameron reminds me that great art requires more than inspiration -- it also requires working long hours when one is feeling less than inspired. A friend recently sent me clip of a Malcolm Gladwell talk in which he critiques popular notions of genius and achievement. We tend to focus on Good-Will-Hunting-style acts of genius – seemingly effortless and performed in isolation. Gladwell argues that as a society we would harness more people’s potential if we focused on the value of hard work and collaboration. To prove his point, he tells the story of a mathematician who -- after many years of hard work and the help of colleagues -- solves a theorem that many had assumed was impossible. Gladwell estimated that the mathematican had spent 10,000 hours working on the theorem. Gladwell then points to the 10,000 Hour Rule. According to Gladwell, achieving a high level of achievement in any field – for instance making it to Wimbledon or becoming a Grand Chess Master -- often takes about 10,000 hours of focused work. While only a handful of us are geniuses on par with Mozart or Einstein, Gladwell argues that hard work and collaboration go a very long way. Check out his talk: http://www.newyorker.com/online/2007/...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    It took me a year and a half to finally finish this book. While there are many pearls of Wisdom gleaned from AA's12-step program, overall I find the book to be a definite downer. The author is dealing with severe depression and is specifically speaking to people also going through depression.  So perhaps it might resonate with someone in a different place more than it speaks to me right now. I would prefer  less gloomy musings and more specific behaviors. It is true the 12 steps are an excellent It took me a year and a half to finally finish this book. While there are many pearls of Wisdom gleaned from AA's12-step program, overall I find the book to be a definite downer. The author is dealing with severe depression and is specifically speaking to people also going through depression.  So perhaps it might resonate with someone in a different place more than it speaks to me right now. I would prefer  less gloomy musings and more specific behaviors. It is true the 12 steps are an excellent source for those tools so I can understand why she relied on them so heavily. There is an emphasis on morning pages, daily walks, and artistic dates. Lots of quotes from famous folks and loads of 12 step slogans. The exercises are very focused on friends and utilizing your emotional support group. I learned a lot from the Artist's Way and found it inspirational. This book , unfortunately was extremely repetitive, gloomy and slow. I did not find that it added any new tools. Read the Artist's Way instead if you are seeking creativity insights and positive ideas.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura K

    I appreciate the author's willingness to share her personal story and have compassion for what she has been through and admiration for the path she has chosen. I enjoyed all the famous quotes and especially liked the stories about the dogs (I would enjoy reading a book based solely on the dog's antics). What would have made it better for me: 1) It was too "twelve-step" for me, I would have liked less mention of that 2) less repetition ("list creative actions....you might manicure your nails brig I appreciate the author's willingness to share her personal story and have compassion for what she has been through and admiration for the path she has chosen. I enjoyed all the famous quotes and especially liked the stories about the dogs (I would enjoy reading a book based solely on the dog's antics). What would have made it better for me: 1) It was too "twelve-step" for me, I would have liked less mention of that 2) less repetition ("list creative actions....you might manicure your nails bright red, you might sit and the piano and noodle for ten minutes, you might write a short poem, you might do your own mending, you might paint the inside of your closet chartruse, you might...") Then there are SEVEN additional suggestions written out. I wanted to scream "OK, I get it!". The repetition was very distracting to me. But the book does have some good suggestions for getting through resistence/writer's block.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Penny

    This third installment of the "Artist's Way" series feels phoned in. Repetitive with attempts to be spiritual and profound the book felt weighted in "gee, you aren't creating art because you don't have real friendships and God isn't talking to you." I enjoyed most the quotes she pulls to pepper the side bars. Perhaps it's where I am on my own journey, but the writing in this book felt like she was trying to impress by sharing her "ordinary life struggles" which came across as a bit pretentious an This third installment of the "Artist's Way" series feels phoned in. Repetitive with attempts to be spiritual and profound the book felt weighted in "gee, you aren't creating art because you don't have real friendships and God isn't talking to you." I enjoyed most the quotes she pulls to pepper the side bars. Perhaps it's where I am on my own journey, but the writing in this book felt like she was trying to impress by sharing her "ordinary life struggles" which came across as a bit pretentious and self absorbed. And some of the revelations and sharing had a feeling of . . . grief and loss. Loneliness. Whereas the first book, when I read it, really sparked my curiosity and creativity, this one sort of plodded along. Different tools for different steps of our journey. This book may be extremely helpful for other artists (or myself at a different walk in life) but right now . . . it was sort of . . . mechanical.

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