Richard Szponder's Reviews > The Sound of Paper

The Sound of Paper by Julia Cameron
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Aug 05, 10

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Read in August, 2010

Creativity expert Julia Cameron once again inspires the blocked artist in The Sound of Paper, a series of essays that serve as a roadmap to rediscovering the creativity that Cameron believes is the lifeblood at the core of everyone’s soul. Designed for artists, writers, musicians, actors, sculptors, and anyone else whose desires lean toward the creative, Cameron’s book reads similar to The Right to Write, another book of essays tailored more toward the impact writing can have on the creative life.

Written during the summer months spent while living in Taos, New Mexico, Cameron begins each essay with a description of the weather, the landscape, or the culture of one of Taos, one of America’s hotbeds of artistic inspiration. Cameron makes comparisons of the natural world around her to the creative lives of the individuals she seeks to help unblock. The essays are short, running on average two or three pages, and the initial paragraphs of explicit description of Taos and the weather can become frustrating after a while. Keep reading. Get past the mundane to the core of the essay, and you will find inspiring expert advice.

Many of the concepts explored in The Sound of Paper are the same as in Cameron’s best-selling creativity workshop, The Artist’s Way. The Sound of Paper serves as outstanding supplemental reading for anyone undertaking The Artist’s Way. Each essay is followed by an activity intended in helping the reader experience first-hand the concepts discussed. Cameron explores all aspects of creativity, from the root causes behind blocked artists to dealing with creative reawakening and even surrounding ourselves with supportive and encouraging friends. She takes things a step further by encouraging her readers to explore their deepest desires, imagining themselves as fulfilling their creative dreams and setting goals - both long and short term - to achieve them.

Cameron discounts common stereotypes of artistic people, explaining that artists need not be loners, eccentric, alcoholic, or unhappy. So many of these stereotypes force individuals to shy away from an artistic life. Cameron explains creativity as the reason for life on earth, linking creativity to spirituality and a higher power she refers to as God, or the Great Creator. Her perspective is unique in that she asks her readers to consider themselves as conduits, or channels, tapping into the creative energy of the universe and bringing art to life. Cameron encourages the removal of the ego in the process of making art.

A worthwhile and inspiring book for anyone seeking to get in touch with their creativity, The Sound of Paper will challenge readers to go outside of their comfort zone and take a chance on implementing a happier, more fulfilling existence. Aside from the often too details prose regarding New Mexico and the stretching comparisons, the book is filled with solid advice and inspirational stories of creative awakening.
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