The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron
The definitive book for reclaiming the creative self. Cameron’s 12-step programme (which follows AA methodology & structure) takes you on a week-by-week journey giving you the essential tools to reconnect you with your own creativity. The most well-known of these are Morning Pages and Artist Dates. Each chapter contains practical exercises for the week, and commentary on that week’s theme. It gives Cameron’s guidance, and relevant biographical details of her personal journey of creative recovery after alcoholism and a harrowing public divorce (she was formerly married to director Martin Scorsese).
I can certainly vouch for this one. Originally published in 1992, it’s maintained its popularity for a reason. I found the focus on personal creativity, even in the simplest ways, and doing morning pages first thing worked amazingly well and improved my writing tenfold, although the commentary and methodology may be a bit hippy-dippy for some. Having first read it more than a decade ago, I still do my Morning Pages religiously, and I’d recommend it for anyone struggling with writer’s block.
Use if you:
- Are struggling with writer’s block
- Want to reconnect with your creative self
- Would be keen to begin a regular creative practice but aren’t sure where to start
- Are looking for something holistic with practical exercises
- Have personal stuff to work out and process
- Need some creative self-care
Don’t use if you:
- Run for the hills at any mention of God or spirituality
- Come out in hives at anything new-agey
- Are looking for a writing craft or structure book
- Want a how-to-write book or one that gives you tips about editing
- Need something to help you with a specific writing project