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Posted September 12, 2010
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Exploring The Darker Side of Creative Awakening and Dealing With Its Demons
Fans of Julia Cameron's books on creativity may initially be shocked by Supplies: A Troubleshooting Guide For Creative Difficulties. Previous works by Cameron including The Artist's Way, The Right to Write, and The Sound of Paper are positive, inspirational, and filled with practical application. Supplies is equally as valuable to any collection of books on creativity. However, it explores the darker side of creative awakening, and it does so with sarcasm, humor, and real-life practical application as to how to blast away the demons that accompany success. Supplies combines humor with inspiration, and this side of Julia Cameron makes for a fun journey.
In The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron provides a 12-week course that brings about creative awakening through spirituality. With such a major life transformation comes synchronicity and success as the universe welcomes its newest creative mind and provides opportunities for it to grow further. Along the way, as success is achieved, there are those who would do everything in their power to impede future achievement. These are the lost souls Cameron explores in Supplies.
From the jealous "Piggybackers" who latch onto the success of others to the fearful "Wet-Blanket Matadors" who attempt to cause confusion and doubt in the minds of those awakening to their creativity, Cameron provides journal exercises that explain exactly how to identify and dismantle each type of creative demon. Comparing the creative journey to a flight, Cameron explains that creative success will bring with it an array of personalities who feel threatened by those achieving their potential and purpose. "Bad Fairies" will be there to ask, "Who do you think you are?" And "The Black Gypsy" will appear to try to convince you that you're heading in the wrong direction.
Through all of the humor and sarcasm remain the fundamentals of Cameron's teachings and inspiration: God is the Great Creator, and if we are created in his image, then we are also meant to create. Her approach is spiritual rather than scientific, and so you should expect a lot of discussion of God's involvement in our creativity in Supplies. As is the case in her other books, Cameron recommends as medicine three pages of hand-written journal entries every morning, a weekly one-hour creatively inspirational solo event, and a 20-minute walk. These core tools in Cameron's arsenal of values are fundamental to her teachings, and it would not be a Cameron book without them.
Supplies is a small but powerful book, a must-have reality check that explores the negative aspects of creative success. It should be used in preparation, as a guidebook for how to deal with the difficulties that others will bring into our lives as we grow closer to finding meaning and purpose.
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