Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Artist's Way

This book truly changed my life.  For those of you who have read it you know what I'm talking about, for those who haven't, get it.  Only if you want to live the life of your dreams though, careful you might be ecstatically happy........Julia Cameron wrote this book in 1992, the book is a 12 week workbook on unleashing your creativity.  Julia was once a drug addict and alcoholic and she is now a sober woman who is so creative and talented it just oozes out of her.  Her book reads easily.  It gently asks you to examine what it is you love to do, a very scary question for most people.  What if I don't know the answer?? What if I get it wrong?? What if I know the answer but I'm  afraid of it?? She gently helps you calm these fears by encouraging you to implement an artist date once a week, an hour out of the hectic craziness to set aside just for you and your artist.  But what if I'm not artistic??? It's ok, everyone has some element of creativity in them and it's just about discovering that element and tapping into it. Many people start this book, not many finish it.  It's curious as to why, is it just way too hard to take some time for ourselves and "play"?  Is it too scary to try new things and ask ourselves what we would do if we could anything??? I think so.  It's safer to do the same thing and not step outside our comfort zone.  Unless it becomes essential and that's what it was for me.  I have been trying to figure out what my direction is ever since I can remember.  I got a bachelor's degree to give me confidence and help give me focus, and direction.  Then I had a child.  So my life has been mostly about my family and my children, all the while a fiercely, independent, creative woman has been screaming at me to create.  I threw her a bone every so often, I went back to school again, this time getting an Interior Design certificate hoping this was my thing.  Yes and no.  I love arranging and designing rooms but it still wasn't "IT".  I worked a lot of part time jobs getting a quick fix and a few bucks in order to satisfy my restlessness.  Until this book came across my path.  It hit me like no other book has ever done, it slammed me from the first page.  That's how powerful it was for me.  This woman spoke my language and I felt a kinship with her immediately.  I know this all sounds very dramatic but it actually I did this book with a group of women (very savvy, smart, dynamic women) we started off as 6 and three of us stuck it out to the very end.  Here's a very condensed version of how fast this book changed my life.
1. I quit my job at the consignment store
2. I took an art class
3. I "dreamed" of my own art studio
4. I got my own studio
5. I committed to painting again
6. I decided to make pet portraits and make money doing them
7. I "dreamed" of making my studio a store
8. I "dreamed" of a fun funky old truck to haul my treasures to my "dream" store
9. Started making the store a reality
10. Got a truck
11. Opening new store in 2 weeks
This is only a sampling of what has happened in a year as a result of The Artist Way.  It has blown my mind how my dreams are becoming a reality.  What I love most about all this isn't just I'm living my dream, which is of course fantastic, it's that I am able to help others to accomplish this too by showing that it's possible.  It's the magic of believing you can do it, that you deserve it, and that the universe, God, whatever you want to call it wants it for you too.  I have been amazed how I 'wish' for something and "snap" there it is, it's just like "The Secret"  the pop phenomenon of a couple years ago.  If you can identify what you want and put it there into the world, the world responds back and it shows up for you.  The only reason this doesn't happen is not believing it can.  We are our own stumbling blocks.  Haven't you noticed how life goes so well for some people who look at the bright side, who suit up and show up and go after what they want?? And don't we also know the ones who complain, who always get the raw end of the deal, all the time?? It's funny when you think about it.  It's hard, no doubt to do the work, it doesn't just come right to you without putting in the muscle.  But if you're willing to really try and you really want it, then I think it will happen.  The Artist Way can help get you there with structure and support.  Read it and let me know what you think! You can do it!! 


  1. thx for reminding me i need to read this a 3rd time :)

  2. Amen girl! Same thing happened to me in 1998 when I did the book's 12 week program with a group. Now I listen to it on my ipod when I need a boost.
    susan sorrell

  3. I read this book years ago. Guess I should read it again.

  4. Wonderful story Carrie...thanks for the recommendation. I know just the friend in mind to gift this book for!!! I look forward to your blog and what this next year has in store for you! Sandy - The Tattered House

  5. Wow. I didn't read the book but I saw a speech by J. Cameron that blew my mind. Her work has a profound impact on many people's lives.