If you’ve been a writer (or would-be) for any length of time, you’ve no doubt come across Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, which is now, incredibly, over 30 years old. Although she’s written a great deal since then, she returns now with what feels like a follow-up or revisiting in Write for Life.
Blurb: A 6-Week Artist’s Way Program
Julia Cameron has been teaching the world about creativity since her seminal book, The Artist’s Way, first broke open the conversation around art.
Now, in Write for Life, she turns to one of the subjects closest to her heart: the art and practice of writing.
Over the course of six weeks, Cameron carefully guides readers step by step through the creative process. This latest guide in the Artist’s Way Series:
– Introduces a new tool and expands on powerful tried and true methods.
– Gently guides readers through many common creative issues ― from procrastinating and getting started, to dealing with doubt, deadlines, and “crazymakers.”
– Will help you reach your goals, whether your project is a novel, poetry, screenplay, standup, or songwriting.
With the learned experience of a lifetime of writing, Cameron gives readers practical tools to start, pursue, and finish their writing project. Write for Life is an essential read for writers who have completed The Artist’s Way and are looking to continue their creative journey or new writers who are just putting pen to paper.
There are a lot of books out there that tell you they will help you write your novel in six weeks or a month or whatever, and, if you’re like me, you might swallow them up like peanut M&Ms. Write for Life by Julia Camerson is, and is not, one of those books. While she does offer a course including tasks and a check-in at the end of each chapter, Write for Life is more about offering the mental tools in order to write your novel rather than how to structure your outline or define your hero’s journey.
Carrying over from The Artist’s Way is the idea of writing Morning Pages, three longhand written pages each morning in stream-of-consciousness. Having done this myself years ago, I do find it works to get the creative juices flowing and advocate it for any writer. Likewise, in the first suggestion she also mentions an Artist’s Date, in which a person goes off to do something on their own to stimulate creativity.
From there she discusses roadblocks that hinder a writer from getting words down on the page. The biggie that kept popping up and had meaning for me was perfectionism. While I always bemoan lacking discipline, she suggests that the key is not discipline but perfectionism. I don’t know. Plausible? Definitely. And, definitely worth investigating.
Amidst all of the topics and some really wonderful writerly quotes are the ubiquitous friend stories added for color, or perhaps example. I may be alone in this, and that’s why reviews are just personal opinions, but I could have done with less of these colorful anecdotes. I guess I’m just more of: give-me-the-facts-Jack-ilk.
Regardless, there is a lot of thoughtful material contained within Write for Life that makes me excited to give the course a try and, actually, just to get started writing. Morning pages start tomorrow.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.