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The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  3,217 ratings  ·  156 reviews
What if everything we have been taught about learning to write was wrong? In The Right to Write, Julia Cameron's most revolutionary book, the author of the bestselling self-help guide The Artist's Way, asserts that conventional writing wisdom would have you believe in a false doctrine that stifles creativity. With the techniques and anecdotes in The Right to Write, readers ...more
Paperback, 237 pages
Published December 27th 1999 by Tarcher (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Salma
Feb 03, 2008 Salma rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: writing, favorites
I really like Julia Cameron's books. Her prose reads with the rhythm and color of poetry, so it isn't like your typical 'how-to-write' book. Whereas other books 'tell' you where and how to get inspired, Cameron does this by merely putting words to the page. I also think this is the most encouraging and open book on writing I've ever read. I call it my 'block-remover.'
♥ Ibrahim ♥


Julia Cameron reminds me of Moses who once said, "I would that all men be prophets." When you come upon some great good, you wish it joyfully for anybody. There is a book inside each one of us that has yet to come out. We are all writers, without exception. Books require being written writing happens a sentence at a time. Sentences can happen in a moment, that is, enough stolen moments, enough stolen sentences, and a book is born- without the luxury of time. Get aggressive. Steal time.
Julia has
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Andi
The book is subtitled "An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life," and thus is about the ways that people can start a writing practice that focuses on writing for the sake of the process rather than the sake of the product. Julia Cameron puts it this way:
If we are invested in a writing life -- as opposed to a writing career -- then we are in it for the process and not the product. We are in it for the body of work and not for the quick hit of one well-realized piece." (p. 66)

Each cha
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Natacha P
My review is biased, and there’s a story to go with it.

As a result of my recent interest in Edgar Cayce, I have been reading some of his books to my utmost enjoyment. One day, I checked out his website where I saw a list of people somehow involved in or connected to the metaphysical world. One of the people profiled was Julia Cameron. I had never heard of her or her works. It seemed she had written quite a few books on writing, and I figured someday I’d get to reading at least one of them. I som
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Susan
This was a brilliant book. I love it. It was really affirming.

The premise is simple: No matter what, just WRITE! Write your way to clarity and love. You can do it. The author believes in you.

Note: the prompts in this book are pretty much exclusively for getting in touch with your keeping-a-journal, writing-about-your-own-experiences self. They're not prompts for fiction. The reason they're great, though, is because they connect you to that idea that it's good to write about everything, and that
...more
Ashley Lauren
Overall, I think Cameron has it right. This book is written in a series of essays and usually starts out with her location - a beautiful mini paragraph where we as readers are watching her horses, the clouds, lighting, sunsets, sagebrush, etc. As a lover of the southwest, it was a great recurring image throughout the book.

Her last essay, in particular, is my favorite. It sums up the book but also the title, the right to write. It talks about the idea that all writing can be "amateur" and, in man
...more
Grace
I have several other things more pressing to do this evening then finish reading a book, but I just had to finish Julia Cameron's "The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life" because I just couldn't stand to read it anymore.

At a short 230 pages, Cameron's book falls well within the range of a 'how-to on writing' book. The chapters were relatively short in length and ended with an "Initiation Tool" to get you on your way to a writing life. Both of these are good for w
...more
Mel
another book i've been reading on and off for years. great to have on hand for those times when the closest i can get to writing is reading about it. also the essay format is perfect for when i can't commit to anything (i.e. writing).
Lacey Louwagie
"Writing--and this is the big secret--wants to be written. Writing loves a writer the way God loves a true devotee. Writing will fill up your heart if you let it. It will fill your pages and help you fill your life."

In the midst of the huge learning curve that has been the publication of my first independent work, it was incredibly gratifying to be reminded of the reasons that I write -- not for publication or attention or fans (although those things are all lovely!) but because of the way it no
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Richard Szponder
Having delved into Julia Cameron’s best-selling book, The Artist’s Way, a self-help guide to unblocking creativity and realizing artistic potential, I’ve been exploring her other books as well. The Right to Write is rooted in the same fundamentals as The Artist’s Way. But whereas The Artist’s Way is more a workshop in book format supporting all types of creativity (writing, painting, acting, filmmaking, etc.), The Right to Write is a collection of essays finely tailored specifically to writers.

C
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Rose
Julia Cameron's "The Right to Write" is more of a writing philosophy work rather than a "how to" book. I actually really liked reading her anecdotes on the writing life and what her experience and advice entailed. I liked her approaches to several different topics, including procrastination, writer's block, the drive to write, among others. And one of the things I really appreciated in this novel is that she completely knocks down the myth/fabrication of what some term as "real" writers versus n ...more
Sam
I expected to like this book more than I did, and I must say I'm glad I didn't buy another of Cameron's books which interested me (The Artist's Way) at the same time I bought this one. Having read The Right to Write, I think I can safely say that Julia Cameron's approach isn't really my preferred one.

For me, the main problem with this book was how spiritual it was, which wasn't something I was at all expecting (and which may mean that others who are more sympathetic to this outlook will find th
...more
Tommy
Julia Cameron certainly makes one feel like they should write, often and without hesitation. Essentially, she holds up the banner of writing for the sake of writing, not for publication or profit.

It's therapeutic. It teaches us to be better communicators and human beings. It's spiritual. It invites us to be creators rather than spectators. Cameron captures a certain passion that makes the reader hungry to break out pen and journal.

There are moments of navel gazing and self-congratulatory passag
...more
Mirliz
I really liked this book. Generally I enjoy books about writing because they make me want to write even more myself. This one really did inspire me, especially as I'm having a writer's block at the moment. Several chapters hit the mark perfectly - I thought "yeah, that's me, exactly..." and I found that all the reasons as to why I'm not writing or even trying to write were turned into dust. I will definitely use this book and its exercises to get my writing going again. How lucky I was to "have ...more
Riina
3,5 tähteä.

Julia Cameronin kirja Tyhjän paperin nautinto ei oikeastaan ole kirjoittamisopas, vaan siinä ennemminkin juhlistetaan kirjoittamista elämäntapana. Kirja on jaettu löyhästi lukuihin kuten "Ajan pakkomielle", "Mieliala" ja "Myötätuntoinen kuuntelija", mutta lukujen sisältö on usein samansuuntainen. Luvut on kirjoitettu kannustavasti ja anekdootteja hyödyntäen, ja itse ainakin huomasin saavani kirjasta intoa tarttua kynään. Valitettavasti Cameronin kirja on välillä myös hyvin amerikkala
...more
Christine
Right up there with Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones this book is inspiring and motivational, while at the same time practical and helpful. I appreciate the clarity of her approach to guiding a new writer, or just a writer who is having trouble finding their way. Most of all I appreciated her constant reminder that to be a writer is just to write. Period. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a helpful nudge on their writing journey.
Garrett
This book tugs at the writer in all of us. Through a series of essays, Julia Cameron, explains why every one should be writer and gives us tools to unleash the writer inside of us. Each essay focuses on specific areas writing along with an initiation tool for the reader to use. For example, the "Specificity" essay is about detail in writing. Then, Ms. Cameron asks us to list 10 objects in the immediate object and write you what you associate with them. In "The Wall of Infamy" essay, Ms. Cameron ...more
Kat
I have never copied so many quotes out of a book before. "The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into the Writing Life" by Julia Cameron not only inspired me, but also calmed and centered me. Ms. Cameron ascribes to the belief that everyone is a writer, that everyone is creative and has the right to express that creativity. They should not be discouraged from doing something they enjoy. Writers aren’t this special elite group set up high on an ivory tower with their jealous muses, but ...more
Raghu
Feb 08, 2011 Raghu is currently reading it
What a great book. Following this book chapter by chapter will make anyone a writer.
Margaretflynn
Anything by Julia Cameron is worth reading and keeping in my opinion.
Seymour
This book could be well on its way to being a classic and an essential rite of passage for anyone who wants to write for pleasure or professionally.

Julia Cameron has set herself the mission of debunking the myth of "writers" being some special class of human being who must starve in a garret for the sake of their craft and uses her words to gently liberate and nurture the essential writer that she believes lies in every person.

The accumulated wisdom of her years as a working writer and a creativ
...more
Helynne
This is an inspirational manual to savor and to keep on a handy shelf the next time one needs a good jolt of confidence and productive energy in one’s writing projects, or simply in one’s desire to begin writing. The title comes from Julia Cameron’s passionate creed that everybody not only has the innate right to express oneself in writing (“writing should not be an elitists’ club”), but also the solemn obligation to do so. “Writing is like breathing” she states on the first page. “. . . For me, ...more
Miri
I'm definitely of two minds about this book. On one hand, it was inspirational at times and I appreciated Cameron's rejection of the stereotype of the "Writer" who has to suffer for the sake of art, and all that. Some of my favorite chapters were "Loneliness,"which discusses how writing can help with that; "Witness," which talks about writing as "witnessing" life; and "Containment," which discusses the importance of not sharing your writing with too many people while it's still in progress.

The N
...more
Kathy Doll
Julia Cameron's 'The Right to Write' is an excellent guidebook and motivational tool for writers. As in her 'Artist's Way' books, the premise is that creativity is a gift from spirit. I think for anyone who agrees with that philosophy, this book will resonate highly. Writing is compared to creating art - which I think is true.

For those of us who struggle to sit our asses down in the chair and actually write, instead of reading about, thinking about, and stressing about writing; it gives compelli
...more
Julie Luekenga
This is not really a book to just read through, but rather to work through. Each chapter is a short inspiration and encouragement to get in touch with our "inner writer", whether you consider yourself a writer or not. Julia Cameron's belief is that we are all writers and have the ability to express ourselves on paper. She downplays the "tortured writer" stereotype and tries to encourage everyone to discover the joy of expression and creativity through words.

Julia Cameron is perhaps better known
...more
Kristie J.
I was going to give this book two stars because I got bored reading several of the chapters in the middle, however, I decided that there are enough good exercises and quotes about writing to give the book three stars.

I appreciated the author’s open, accepting, and welcoming attitude toward beginner writers. She encourages everyone to be a writer - all they have to do is start writing. The last several chapters have useful writing tips such as how to find a topic to write about and how to overco
...more
April WW
I bought this in 2008, read the first chapter and did the first exercise, then did nothing else. I wasn't doing the exercises so I didn't let myself keep reading. Finally it made me feel guilty seeing it on my bedside table so I hid it away on a shelf.

I picked it up again earlier this month and went ahead and read the whole thing. Didn't do any of the exercises this time except for one mid-way through, which was to start writing "Morning Pages." Still doing that so far...), and starting back at
...more
lee lee
Jun 06, 2008 lee lee rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: procrastinators; writers; lovers
Recommended to lee lee by: my mom's boss in florida whose name i have forgotten right now
mmmmmmmmmmmmm....yummy. i love this book. i love everything about this book, even the title. i think this is partly because it was one of the very first books on writing (the first?) that someone gave to me, the act of which gave me much confidence and made me feel very special. i love getting books, almost as much as i love giving them.

outside of that special story...the book itself is also quite good. you will find this hard to believe if you look over my bookshelves, but i'm actually not big
...more
Mona  AlvaradoFrazier
Feb 22, 2014 Mona AlvaradoFrazier rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Writers
For a couple of years, my writing group leader has read and often quoted from The Artist Way by Julia Cameron. So when I came across this book I knew it would be also be a gem.

Julia Cameron writes visually and with such emotion that you want to learn how to do that too. Her book is an important one to have in your writer's toolbox. The chapters are fairly short with one or two exercises that follow the topic. You will find yourself highlighting passages as she inspirationally champions the read
...more
Cristina Oliveras
Loved this read. Her style of writing is so poetic and natural. She stands by her word when she says "just start where you are". There are so many quotes I can pull from her work that truly inspire to put words on paper and just write. It gives you permission to write without a filter because we all write our best when we just do it. If you are a blocked writer or new to the craft, this book is resourceful. It changed my outlook on the craft and encouraged the best out of me. This book will stay ...more
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Julia Cameron has been an active artist for more than thirty years, with fifteen books (including bestsellers The Artist's Way, Walking In This World and The Right to Write) and countless television, film, and theater scripts to her credit. Writing since the age of 18, Cameron has a long list of screenplay and teleplay credits to her name, including an episode of Miami Vice, and Elvis and the Beau ...more
More about Julia Cameron...
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“We should write because it is human nature to write. Writing claims our world. It makes it directly and specifically our own. We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance.

We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act of living. Writing is sensual, experiential, grounding. We should write because writing is good for the soul. We should write because writing yields us a body of work, a felt path through the world we live in.

We should write, above all, because we are writers, whether we call ourselves that or not.”
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“Writing is like breathing, it's possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.” 42 likes
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