Book Review: The Artist’s Way

Ok, warning this book has nothing to do with personal finance or the environment. So why am I reviewing The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron? Simple, the book fall under the category of life transforming for me, so I’m sharing some information about it since it helped me get a lot happier in life.

The book is actually based on a course that Julia has taught for years. As such each chapter is a week of the course complete with exercises at the end of the week. I would like to say I had the book for twelve weeks and did the course, but that didn’t happen. In fact I had to borrow the book twice from the library on two separate occasions to get through the book in a mere six weeks.

In general the entire book is how many creative people: writers, painters, dancers, etc or people who think about being creative (which is really just about everyone else) are really blocking their creative outlets. They are scared of what people will think and as such develop behaviors to block themselves from doing creative work. To be honest I knew I had some issues with writing. I could do the blog, but I never took it to the next level or could get my book projects off the ground. I kept blocking myself.  What was very interesting for me to determine was reading was a block for me since I used it at times to avoid writing.  I also learned that working on the same few pages over and over is just me trying to be analytical to a progress that has nothing to do with analytical.

So after reading this book I know understand a lot more of the process of being creative and how to support that process. As such, I’m managed to come a long way because of this book. I’m doing a page a day minimum of my personal finance book project and I’m making more time for writing than ever before. I even took on a huge project in my basement to setup a second home office just for writing. I just got the writing lair up and running about two weeks ago.  All the changes might not see like a lot but the progress is more about I’ve managed to get to the point of I can just sit down and write.  No guilt, no bull, just do it and get the draft done.

Now keep in mind this book is for anyone who wants to do something creative. You don’t have to be an artist with a capital “A” to read the book. It will even help those who just dream of writing that book, story, blog post or even try a hand at painting. What ever you want to try.

I will warn you that they process seems flaky at times, painful at other times (at realizing how sad your little justifications were to avoid things) and out right strange but it’s really one large therapy session for that little creative part of your brain that’s been wasting away for the last couple of decades.  As such, if it feels a little silly you are likely on the right track.

So stop dreaming and start doing. Go find this book at your local library or buy a copy and like me you will likely find your life a lot more happy in a very short time.