Have any of you used this book before?
(Also, have any of you struggled when typing the word “artist’s”? I misspelled it like five times. No? Just me? Ok then.)
I heard of Julia Cameron through her book The Writing Diet, which I picked up on the bargain shelf at Barnes and Noble back in the early 2000’s. I’d been struggling with disordered eating for several years and was desperate for anything to break me out of my funk.
That book was both helpful and not. Julia, bless her heart, is a lunatic.
No sugar, she advised. Absolutely none. She was ahead of the clean eating bandwagon. But the relapses she admitted to having– splitting a dessert at a restaurant with friends–apparently led to major regret and sugar hangovers. If clean eating meant I would get sick every time I ate a dessert– nay, SHARED a dessert– I wanted no part of it. Still, I tried. I lasted less than a day.
However, she also plugged her signature strategies, Morning Pages and Artist Dates. Cornerstones of the emotional healing required to resolve eating issues, Morning Pages and Artist Dates were the one techniques she said were non negotiable.
So they were the one thing I didn’t try. I didn’t lose any weight.
Fast forward to now, when a dear creative friend of mine, Nandita, invited me to join her in working through Julia’s best known work, The Artist’s Way. I prepared myself for lots of pseudo-spirituality and anecdotal evidence and admonitions to move to New Mexico, where people just get it.
And now I’m on chapter 6, admittedly far behind in the schedule Nandita and I set, and I have to say, it’s working!
I’ll be writing about it more in depth later, but for now I’ll say that the major theme I’m taking away is that we live in an abundant universe where God is waiting and eager to bless us a thousand times more than we can imagine. He’s extravagant. He’s effervescent.
“We have tried to be sensible– as though we have any proof at all that God is sensible,” Julia writes.
OH MY GOD, I felt like shouting. HE’S TOTALLY NOT! THANK YOU FOR SAYING THAT! BECAUSE THAT HAS BEEN MY MAJOR CRITIQUE OF CHRISTIANITY!
‘There is not one pink flower, or even fifty pink flowers, but hundreds. This creator looks suspiciously like someone who might just send us support for our creative ventures.” And you know what? As soon as I started working my way through this book, I landed my first ever paid writing gig. And while it’s not panning out the way I thought, it was enough to encourage me to seek out other paid writing gigs.
(SO, LOL, hire me! Kidding. Well, not, I’m not, but, ya know.)
So the universe does seem to be encouraging me creatively. Thank you, Julia. Thanks for being so woo-woo you. I’m curious: have you used this book, or Julia’s others? What’d you think?