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The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

(The Artist's Way)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  103,455 ratings  ·  3,459 reviews
The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vital today—or perhaps even more so—than it was when it was first published one decade ago, it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work. In a new introduction to the book, Jul ...more
Paperback, 237 pages
Published March 4th 2002 by Jeremy P. Tarcher (first published July 17th 1992)
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Daisy Why don't you look for a group or start one. The first time I did I had no idea what it was all about, I went to a group starting in a local book stor…moreWhy don't you look for a group or start one. The first time I did I had no idea what it was all about, I went to a group starting in a local book store. I am not an artist and became intimidated because these people were all artists. Well, God's surprise was that they all embraced and help me discover and recognize my artist in hiding. I've been consistent with the morning pages pretty much ever since,and have gone back to Julia's classroom numerous times.The one thing I learned from the very start was "there is no way to do this wrong".Beleive me, There isn't.(less)
Cassandra I also had to get creative - here are some of the activities I engaged in as well as some ideas I didn’t get to:

Dance party
Home spa day
Paper snowflak…more
I also had to get creative - here are some of the activities I engaged in as well as some ideas I didn’t get to:

Dance party
Home spa day
Paper snowflake making
Painted pumpkins
Made cookies then decorated them
Made a bookmark
Watched a favorite childhood movie
Henna’d myself and my daughter
Sidewalk chalk art
Spent an evening flipping through art books and old sketchbooks
Rock painting
Found art project
Visiting virtual museums
Watching the sunrise/sunset
Typing a poem to myself

Hope that helps! (less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  103,455 ratings  ·  3,459 reviews

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Julia Cameron works my last nerve. She's always talking about looking out at the sun-dappled mesas of New Mexico, or using some other affected, high-falutin' lingo about her gloriously new age, trendy life. Meanwhile, I look out at the cracked concrete of my driveway in the Chicago drizzle and wonder how us normal people ever survived without people like Julia Cameron telling us about their fantastically charmed lives. However, I like the little mind toys in this book. I did the morning pages, a ...more
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it
On the whole, the key to the Artist's Way is selfishness. That is something I fundamentally disagree with. You should not skip your child's soccer game to paint your masterpiece. Your kid is the masterpiece. All of the relationships in your life are masterpieces. I use that as an example but there are other moments in this book where self-indulgence at the expense of others is encouraged. This is loathsome.

So why didn't I just give the book and the program a 1-star rating? Because there are some
Jul 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
This is a really difficult book for me to rate. At the time I first read it fifteen years ago, it did wonders to open me up creatively. I was still struggling to slough off some negative parental programming about being a writer, and this book (along with a good friend) helped give me permission to explore that side of myself.

Since that time, however, my belief system has changed so radically that I no longer agree with a number of the book’s fundamental premises. For this reason, it would be ha
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: dreamers, artists, people with secret passions, people in recovery or who want to recover
Another book that has changed my life! (See also: The Runner's Handbook!) I have started this book many times and not finished my 12-week (or more) commitment, but this time, when I got to the point where I wanted to give up, I kept on going, and let me tell you where I am now, as a result of this:

I pitched my memoir to agents in February.
I am taking acting lessons.
I have started wearing clothes I like every single day!
I am planting a garden.
I have taken up knitting.
I am taking ballet classes.
Michael Romeo Talks Books

The Artist’s Way, while it contains some gems, is an overall disappointment. I’ve started it several times and it took me this fourth time to get all the way through. I had previously blamed my inability to finish it more on myself than on the work in general. The book taken as a whole comes across as pop psychology mixed with a heavy dose of New Age philosophy. There is a lot of talk about nurturing the inner child that is our real artist, the child’s ina
Gayle Pitman
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was introduced to The Artist's Way back in 2005 when I took a college class on creativity. If I hadn't signed up for that class, I'm sure I would have never picked up this book. I expected The Artist's Way to be full of fluffy, New-Agey platitudes, and I approached it with cynicism and skepticism. However, I kept an open mind. I read each chapter thoroughly. I did the morning pages every day and an artist's date once a week. I did a handful of the exercises at the end of each chapter. And my l ...more
Jan 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My New Year's resolution for 1998 was to finally actually DO the Artists' Way. I had given it to several people close to me for the last three holidays, but I had never actually done the process. This is not a book to read. It is a book to do and it promises major life changes in 13 weeks. I was desperate to find a new way to make a living and decided to give this my best shot. 13 weeks later there was no epiphany. I still didn't know where to go, so I started over from the beginning. Two weeks ...more
Jan 08, 2008 rated it it was ok
Look, for writers and artists whatever inspires you to create is a good thing. However, I found this book (For me) to be too "I am an artist, I am bohemian, I create" attitude. Writing (or any of the arts) has a greater verity for my when it's a little less "GIFT OF THE GODS" and a little more "craft." The most successful creators view their work as a craft in the same manner that a furniture maker or a bricklayer would, in my experience. Also when one focuses more on craftsmanship rather than i ...more
Katherine Addison
I can't rate this book, since my opinion of it veers wildly between five stars and zero stars.

For those not familiar with it, The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron is a book that claims it can reconnect anyone with their "Inner Artist," via a program modeled openly on AA's Twelve Step Program (it is not a coincidence that Cameron is a recovering alcoholic). As such, it conceptualizes creativity as something inherently spiritual and conceptualizes the artist as a channel for God's will.


Sep 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
A book to cheer you on when you feel like you can only look longingly at your passion (writing, painting, drawing...) because the dog needs a walk and the kids need a bath, and you've bills to pay so you've just come home from a job that took you from the house and back to it without a glimpse of the sun. ...more
Leonard Gaya
Apr 17, 2022 rated it liked it
In essence, The Artist’s Way is a pop-psychology self-help book for blocked artists. And, like any other pop-psych self-help book, you get a little bit of preaching, a few tips and tricks and a bunch of homework. It’s not specific to any art form or technique—you could even argue that it’s not even about art. The Artist’s Way is a book about creativity in the broadest sense: it applies equally to writing, dressmaking, acrobatics, entrepreneurship, or anything that involves doing or making someth ...more
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book while I wrote Still Alice, and I'm reading it again while I write Left Neglected. Thank you, Julia Cameron, for this amazing gift!! And thank you to RJ Julia's book store in CT for the gift of this edition. ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity (The Artist's Way), Julia Cameron
The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity is a self-help book by American author Julia Cameron. The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and
Aug 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I recently completed the 12-week book on my own, and I think that it was very well put together. I was already on my way to discovering a few of the main drivers in the book, but it would have taken me many years to collect them. I have been inspired by this book, and it has helped me work through things, instead of ignoring big problems with my creative process and trying to push them aside.

A few of the reviews haven't been so kind for this book, which is okay. It is really hard to surrender t
May 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I read and did the exercises in this book during the most intense professional and personal time in my life. It was a life-changer because it allowed me to articulate my life purpose which is fundamentally about using my voice and helping others to find theirs. I recommend this book often.
Elyse  Walters
I love the friend who shared this book with me....
[I had shared about the great fun I had once in a weekly three-month art therapy group]....

“The Artist’s Way”, celebrates its 25th anniversary....
It’s a very popular book —
3,068 people reviewed it on Amazon.
85% - 5 star reviews!
So.... many people got great value.

However, this book wasn’t for me.
I didn’t resonate with the religious aspects - nor am I an alcoholic - nor am I looking for a 12-week exercise program to reclaim my creativity - or
pani Katarzyna
Jun 27, 2013 rated it did not like it
Okay, I read over a half and this is cheating a little bit but I am so DONE with the book! And I do believe that enduring through 150 pages of this entitles me to regard it as absolutely "read". Any book that recommends affirmations is not good for much else but using it as a beer coaster. Then there's this constant babbling about some God the Creator - Whatever. There's more pseudo-psychotherapeutic talk than any actual propositions of inviting creativity... Oh, and the repetition of the "artis ...more
At first glance, this might seem a bit too new-age-y (is that a word?). However, as a working artist, I appreciated this book and found value in her ideas. If you're at the beginning of your creative career, these ideas can give you support and encouragement to do the work and move past obstacles and negative attitudes, especially those expressed by others.


2019 re-read:

Made it through the intro material and now working the activities for Week One. This is a pretty ser
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I followed the whole course outlined in this book. All 12 weeks of it. Well, 13 if you count that week I got pissed off and nearly quit. There's a week in there where she requires you to not read at all. No books, newspapers, comics. Back when this was published (1992) there wasn't the issue of mindless social media scrolling. So it was the issue of reading back then. Mindless reading. But I don't do a hell of a lot of social media, and the plasticity of actors in movies and TV gives me the will ...more
K.M. Weiland
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A transformative and wise book that speaks to healing and growth that goes far beyond any particular pursuit of an art form.
Stephanie *Eff your feelings*
I read The Artist's Way a few years ago and could see the benefits of actually doing the work in it. But, of course, I never did it. So I thought I would listen to the book and refresh my memory, and again I feel it would do me good. But will I do it this time?

I have many other artists friends who have read it and also planned on doing it, but I don't know if they have either...

The Artist Way is a book written to unblock artist of a kinds, writers, painters, actors ect. I can't say that I'm bloc
May 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So apparently you will become a successfully creative person if you simply place your life in God.
And now that i've summed up the book for you, you don't even have to read it.
Dakota Lane
i'm just randomly pulling these off my shelf, literally, i didn't even know i had this still but it's what helped me get back to writing when i did my first book eight thousand years ago, the one everyone says WHY CAN'T YOU WRITE ANOTHER BOOK LIKE THAT??? book.

i always give "the morning pages" exercise to my students. (that makes it sound like i have students hanging around me and in my life at all times instead of twice a year.)
but here it is, a teaser for this fine book:

1. first thing in the a
Mar 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to be an artist but doesn't think they can be
Recommended to Tj by: Alice
Shelves: informative
A friend told me she was doing the 'Artist Way', and asked me to do it with her. I figured, why not.

As an aspiring writer, the book, definatly had some appeal, but kind of lost me as I progressed through it. It's obviously written for people who are not 'artists' per say, but would like to be. The first chapter was about overcoming mental obstacles (like being afriad that you'll become poor and get AIDS from being an artist...).

It's also a very kind of spiritual 'new age' type of books, i.e. Art
Chris Wolak
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you were an adult in the late 1990s and don't know this book, you were either living under a rock or never set foot inside a bookstore or library or community center for that matter. I was living in Reno and then in Charlotte, NC when the book's popularity hit its zenith and there were Artist Way groups that got together at bookstores, libraries, community centers, and coffee shops.

The biggest takeaway for me was morning pages--writing, by longhand, three pages of stream of consciousness stuf
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Today I finished the 12-week program in this book for the 4th time. The first time, I joined an online group that went through it. The second time, I attempted it alone. The last two times, I went through it with a local group that I gathered and facilitated.

Every time, I learn something new -- about myself, about creativity, about my hopes and dreams. Sometimes, I find the essays and tasks cheesy and dumb. Other times, they are exactly what I need at the time.

When writers ask me to recommend a
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Erin by: John B.
Shelves: own
I took the plunge into this book and, like several of my friends, did not make it all the way through (the closest I came to finishing was chapter 10 ... even when i revisited the book a few years later). However, the ground I did cover helped me get more honest with myself about my creative interests. I think I've made some choices in my life that, in hindsight, I might not have made had I not had experience with this book.

I think that's what is great about this book. Whether you make it throug
Jan 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference, nonfiction
Other friends have also recommended the War of Art as a tool for unlocking creativity. I'm interested to check that one out too. ...more
Lauren Schumacher
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
I am a graphic designer by trade. I've been doing it for ten years now, and I have learned many little tricks along the way. I'm going to employ one of them now to let you know if you're going to enjoy this book or not. Ready?

The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

...See what I did there? Mm-hmm. That's why they pay me the big bucks.

I really wanted to like this book. Not only that, I really wanted to benefit from it. I'm in the midst of trying to write a novel (I know, kill me),
da AL
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing book - I have done the course several times now, alone & with friends - & have always found that it did wonders for my creativity, especially my writing. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to live more creatively.
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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

Other books in the series

The Artist's Way (10 books)
  • The Artist's Way Every Day: A Year of Creative Living
  • The Artist's Way Workbook
  • The Artist's Way at Work: Riding the Dragon
  • The Artist's Way Starter Kit
  • The Artist's Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children
  • Inspirations: Meditations from The Artist's Way
  • Reflections on the Artist's Way
  • The Artist's Way Morning Pages Journal: A Companion Volume to the Artist's Way
  • It's Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond

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