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Floor Sample

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  360 ratings  ·  72 reviews
This memoir could be subtitled "My Bumpy Path to The Artist's Way." Julia Cameron earned worldwide fame with her 1992 guide to creative inspiration, but her journey to the summit lacked the tranquility of her classic book. As Floor Sample proves with piercing detail, Cameron's life has been riddled with catastrophic mistakes and mishaps: most notably, a short, disastrous m...more
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published June 12th 2009 (first published May 4th 2006)
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Lain
The difficulty in critiquing memoirs is that it's near impossible for me to critique the writing without critiquing the life. In this case, there is much to raise one's eyebrows at in Julia Cameron's long, fruitful, and erratic life (she seems to be ruled by the winds as much as by the muse).

But her writing is clear, her life has been an interesting one, and she seems to hold little back when writing about her challenges and struggles with mental illness and alcoholism. A fragile, yet indominat...more
Diane Shipley
Oh, lordy.

This one was hard work. In large part because Julia Cameron herself comes across as hard work. Not because she's an alcoholic (now sober), or because she has serious mental illness which never seems to be entirely resolved, but because she never really seems to arrive at self-knowledge - which is surely the point of a memoir, to have some truth you want to present to people.

This is more like a chronicling of events, with not enough filtering out of what is relevant, and quite a bit o...more
Jan
Jan 10, 2009 Jan rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: autobiography
Because I felt The Artist's Way was so insightfully and artfully written, I was glad to see this memoir by the author. She writes quite a captivating story, but her histrionics and psychotic breaks immediately set her apart from the masses she is trying to teach to unlock their creative flow. She tells about the difficulty she faced trying to produce her plays and musicals, but firmly implants the intensity needed to continue to write or produce art. She outlines, her alcohoism, drugs she took t...more
Jaclyn
I made it to page 216, and that's as much as I can take. This is so fascinating to me -- Julia Cameron is such a great writing teacher. I've read two of her how-to books, one for a poetry class. The woman can teach ... but she can't do. Case-in-point: I made it in the book until her second marriage crumbled, and I realized: I didn't care. She doesn't tell the reader how she got to know these men. How they made her fall in love with them. I don't know what they did on their first date or what she...more
Ellen Keim
I devoured The Artist's Way when it first came out and thought it was brilliant. I've also read a couple more of her books and would love to read more. I was very interested in finding out what fuels such a creative person and I was surprised to find out that it may be that she lives much closer to the edge than most of us do. Not so much that she challenges herself or opens herself up to opportunities more than most of us do. But that she might sometimes be living on the edge of sanity.

She has...more
Denise
Jun 13, 2007 Denise rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Julia Cameron, fans of memoir
Yay! I was excited to see that Julia Cameron wrote her own memoir. After encouraging us all to free our own inner artists, she left me curious as to her own body of work (besides the Artist's Way, Vein of Gold, Right to Write self-help titles she is famous for).

I have to warn you--at least with the hardcover version--if you are one to set aside a book and leave it face-down (as I am), her photograph on the back may frighten you. It sure did me.

Anyway, to get to the meat of the book...JC admits (...more
Mandi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caroline
I was completely enthralled with this book. I have completed several of Julia Cameron's creativity books before. So it was so interesting to read what was going on in her life during the time she was writing them.
Cynthia Flores
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Polly
This memoir is an honest and humble account about the life of a courageous and creative woman, who is still going strong.

Cameron does not brag. She does not 'toot her horn,' about the impact of her definitive and useful contributions to the wave of the "New Age" creativity movement (not the least of which was her book: "The Artist's Way" http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61...).

Despite the oftentimes dire circumstances of various situations in Cameron's life (whether or not they were within o...more
Hanje Richards
Memoir by the well known creator of the Artist’s Way method and author of many successful books on creativity. an honest and moving portrayal of her life. From her early career as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine and her marriage to Martin Scorsese, to her tortured experiences with alcohol and Hollywood, Julia Cameron reflects in this engaging memoir on the experiences in her life that have fueled her own art as well as her ability to help others realize their creative dreams. She also descri...more
Dorothy
About half way through I started asking myself, why didn't I quit reading this earlier. But at that point I felt committed to finishing. Bad choice. This is the story of how Martin Scorsese's first wife spent a good portion of her life moving from NY to CA to NM, VA and back again and again. It made me tired just reading about all the moves and even when she was in one state she still kept moving from hotels to apartments to houses and back. She describes herself as multi-talented, but neglects...more
Nita
What did I learn? Julia Cameron sure does move around a lot.

Seriously, I was struck by her productivity. Even in the midst of major psychic breaks and nervous breakdowns, she was productive. Mania perhaps? Supposedly she's not manic depressive, but those episodes with the trees talking to her sure should like a manic episode to me. Not that I've ever been "allergic" to electricity like she was, so I can't relate. But I get that surge of energy - that feeling like the work is just flowing out of...more
Leslie
I really admire Julia Cameron for her honesty about her alcohol addiction, drug use, and mental illness. I love it when people have the guts to tell the truth about things like that. This book was interesting, her life took so many twists and turns. I also enjoyed finding out how The Artist's Way evolved and what was going in her life at the same time she was writing her books.
The only thing I didn't like was all the details about the back and forth, moving from Taos to NYC to LA to London, and...more
Leslie
I am a fan of Julia Cameron. "Faith and Will" as well as "Transitions" and "Answered Prayers" were different than almost anything I've read. Consequently I thought it would be interesting to read her memoir and see where it all started. It did keep my attention and her story of allowing her art to speak through her without trying to restrain it or divert it was intriguing. She also allows the reader to see her alcoholism and mental illness without trying to minimize its impact on her and her lif...more
Deborah
I love Julia Cameron and have read everything I can find that she has authored, which, as it turns out, is quite a few titles from creative recovery to fiction, poetry, and even musicals. She is a genius and I absolutely adore her. One of these days I intend to write her a long letter and tell her how much her work has meant to me. I was thrilled to see that she had written a memoir and read it happily over a several weeks. It was especially meaningful to me having read The Artist's Way years ag...more
Jessica Bukowinski
This is a haunting read that had me feeling jittery every time Julia Cameron's psyche got muddled. I could imagine myself walking past her on a city street and writing her off. You definitely need to be in reading-an-autobiographical-memoir mode to appreciate this one. I would put it in the same category as Joan Baez's memoir, minus the political aspects. The writing itself did not rock my world, but in both books the authors' relationships to their times and to more famous folks surrounding the...more
Victoria
After a grueling slog through her first marriage to director Martin Scorcese and early battle with alcoholism (the first 70 pages of the book took me almost a month to get through), the book opens up into the Julia Cameron writers and artists know and love - open, honest, inspiring, struggling, worrying, prayer-filled, illuminating, challenging, and freeing.

And then in the final 1/3 of the book, it gets dark again, with multiple breakdowns, depression and medication. I'm left without any idea of...more
Hilari
I have mixed feelings about this autobiography. While I find the earlier part of her life fascinating, I'm more than a little disturbed about the latter half. It kind of makes me wonder if I really embrace her Artist's Way philosophy will I end up mentally ill as well? Her mental illness is so invasive that at times I have niggling doubts about her ability to separate her truth from her fiction. On the other hand, she is so fiercely prolific in spite of all her issues that I wonder if she has ac...more
Alexis
I decided to read this book because Julia Cameron was involved with Scorsese (spelling) and I'm somewhat fascinated by him and his five marriages. He is one of my favourite directors.

I am also a fan of The Artist's Way and have read some of Julia Cameron's other books.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Cameron doesn't hold anything back. For some reason, I had been convinced that her life was somewhat golden, but it's really not. She suffers from mental illness and was a severe alc...more
Gail
Disappointing. Cameron's memoir seems to fall far short of an honest personal assessment of her creative but frequently troubled life. And, I thought it self-indulgent in places. She is far too woo-woo for my taste, though she doth protest the label much.

I was interested in this book for a couple of reasons. I had a number of conversations by phone with her when she wrote a magazine piece on the director of a film I repped years ago. At the time, she was living in Chicago. I knew she'd been marr...more
Jennifer
The Artist's Way and Cameron's other writings about money and the creative process have been of huge benefit to my life, and I respect Ms. Cameron's complete honesty in exposing her own mistakes, inspirations, and creative processes so completely in this autobiography.

But let me also say: She crazy.

She's mostly good-crazy, but after a while the book gets a bit repetitive with the "I suddenly realized I HAD to live in Tuscon and so I moved my family and all our stuff there and heartbreakingly t...more
Kristin
I really enjoyed this memoir, especially the first half. Reading about the life of a writer made me want to start writing again. It was the creative shot in the arm I needed. But it was disturbing to read about her decline into psychosis. I kept expecting a happy ending in which she finds the right meds and writes happily ever after. But it's clear that is not where she leaves off. And after she's moved across the country for the 104th time in yet another attempt to find a place that feels right...more
Victoria Plettner-saunders
I enjoyed reading it and found it a fast read despite its 400 pages in length. My main frustration is that she takes shy of 400 pages to admit that she has a mental illness for which she must take medication in order to remain stable. So much of the story is about her rambling about the country in varying stages of mania working and connecting with people and being creative. What fascinated me is that she could maintain an intense level of creative productivity throughout her life while beating...more
Rebecca Bugge
The rating doesn't really reflect my overall impression of the book - for the simple reason I don't have one. I really liked the beginning, the first few chapters, the ones dealing with her growing up, how she became a writer, her first marriage, but also her alcoholism and how she tried to get out of it. I really, really liked it.

But then I kind of lost interest... Second marriage, touring, moving (a lot of it, hard to keep track of from time to time where she was) and mental illness. I couldn'...more
Jocelyn
Nov 02, 2007 Jocelyn rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers, artists, right-brained people
Julia Cameron is best-known for her eponymous book The Artist's Way, which outlines methods for "creative unblocking." Basically, Cameron's method follows the tenets of AA "one day at a time" philosophy. This is her memoir, which documents her descent into alcoholism, followed by her struggle to stay sober and get her writing career back on track. The story is compelling and a fast read (who doesn't like to read about drugs, alcohol and psychotic breaks?) but it's not too interesting beyond that...more
Karen Pullen
I came across this book at our library book sale, and it was one of those serendipitous finds. Years ago I read the Artist's Way and it helped me enormously as I was trying to learn how to be a writer. I needed to go back to it, and reading Floor Sample pointed me to back to her books again. Julia Cameron is a wonderful writer who offers inspiration to all artists. In this book she's honest about her struggles with addiction, which she conquered, and later what seems like mania and how it felt t...more
Fran
Jan 15, 2008 Fran rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who knows Julia Cameron's work and would like to see the whole person.
Recommended to Fran by: Los Angeles Times Book Review
Because I personally learned so much from Julia Cameron in The Artists Way, I make it a point to read every book she writes. This one chronicles Cameron’s tumultuous life as a journalist, screenwriter, author, composer, mother, wife, while often battling alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness. I had read a review in the L.A. Times so I knew I would be seeing a different side of Cameron than the woman I thought she was. It was an extremely painful read for me because of her brutal honesty...more
Melanie
Julia Cameron is best known for her book and learning blocks: The Artists Way. But did you know she was married to Martin Scorsese? Floor sample took me on a journey through her creative struggles, framed by her fight to maintain sobriety after years as an alcoholic and drug addict. She continued to struggle after her marriage to Scorsese to find both professional and personal success. Both attempts were rife with the ups and downs of addiction and periodic psychotic breaks.

While a page turner i...more
Carla
very interesting memoir from julia cameron, the author of one of my most favorite books on creativity. it was interesting to hear about her struggles with depression, relationships, lack of confidence. i can relate to her experiences with bursts of inspiration and creativity that lead to a change in perception with one's surroundings. she became ultra sensitive, hearing the electricity or any noise was too much to handle. i can relate to the hypersensitivity. there are times when i have to retre...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...
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life The Vein of Gold The Complete Artist's Way : Creativity as a Spiritual Practice Walking in this World

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