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Floor Sample: A Creative Memoir

Floor Sample: A Creative Memoir

by Julia Cameron

An unflinching memoir by the woman who has helped thousands of people uncover their creative inspiration.

In Floor Sample, the author of the international bestseller The Artist's Way weaves 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


An unflinching memoir by the woman who has helped thousands of people uncover their creative inspiration.

In Floor Sample, the author of the international bestseller The Artist's Way weaves 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 describes the fascinating circumstances that led her to emerge as a central figure in the creative recovery movement-a movement that she inaugurated and defined with the publication of her seminal work, The Artist's Way.

Julia Cameron is a passionate and wry observer of the world, and her account of her life as a self-described "floor sample" for all she teaches in her brilliant books on creativity will surprise, entertain, and inspire all her many fans as well as anyone interested in an absorbing literary memoir.

Editorial 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 marriage to director Martin Scorsese that left her reeling for a center; ghastly career choices; drug and alcohol abuse; and periodic psychotic snaps. Unexpected intensity; creative insights.
Publishers Weekly
At 57, Cameron, famous for her semispiritual approach to healing artist's block (presented in 1992's The Artist's Way) still seeks her creative and emotional center. She now details her creative struggles, framed by her fight to maintain sobriety after years as an alcoholic and drug addict. Early fame writing for Rolling Stone led her to the most cataclysmic relationship of her life, a youthful marriage to director Martin Scorsese, with whom she had her only child. The relationship lasted less than two years. For 10 years after, Cameron chased similar creative ground to Scorsese's, attending film school, making small films and screenwriting for film and TV. She seemed unable to settle down, moving between Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Taos, and details a constant, painful struggle to find a creative touchstone. Her one focus remains her art-yet that often resembles monomania and leads her to periodic psychotic breaks. She leaves her daughter adrift to work on her art; relationships crash and burn because she is a workaholic and egomaniac. Cameron is best at revealing the dark side of her privileged life: her descent into alcoholic blackouts and drug-induced paranoia as well as descriptions of her bouts with psychosis. These are disturbingly vivid; the rest is febrile New Age rhetoric. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Poet, novelist, songwriter, playwright, and now memoirist Cameron (The Artists's Way) details her life as the leader of the "creative unblocking" movement. The beginning of the book is peppered with anecdotes about her early career as a "hip" twentysomething journalist for Rolling Stone and the New York Post and-in what is in many ways the liveliest part of the book-her Hollywood "glamour" years with first husband Martin Scorsese (years during which she was, in fact, addled with drugs and alcohol). A recovering alcoholic, follower of New Age mysticism, and survivor of mental breakdowns, Cameron somewhat bogs down the book's second half with in-depth trials of the heart rather than the pen, though her struggle to write her musical is given a good share of space, an emphasis that could result from her self-proclaimed discomfort at being seen "only" as the globe-hopping teacher of The Artist's Way books and not a creative person in her own right. Despite all the ground covered, readers may close the book with pressing questions. What is the connection between Cameron's personal and writing lives? How does staying sober and staying on her medication affect her work? Nonetheless, this is an engrossing account that will be snapped up by her many fans. For all public libraries.-Elizabeth Brinkley, Seattle Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
New Age writing guru Cameron (The Dark Room, 1998, etc.) tells of her frenetic, peripatetic life as screenwriter, playwright, novelist, columnist and poet. The author breezily describes her Catholic education, her early addiction to alcohol and her promising start as a magazine writer before a brief marriage to Martin Scorsese took her to Hollywood. There she discovered cocaine, and her life spiraled downward. On the advice of "sober alcoholics" (a term she uses to describe herself), the desperate Cameron quit drinking, gave up drugs and began writing under a new regimen, which called for a quota of just three pages a day. In time, she began teaching her writing technique to others, putting together a course on unblocking creativity and connecting it with spirituality. Spiritual guidance has evidently played a major role in Cameron's life decisions since then. She repeatedly moved-back and forth across the United States, to and from England-often at the impetus of guiding voices. She ricocheted from New York to Los Angeles, Chicago, Taos, London, Dublin, never finding a comfortable home or compatible working environment. All the while, she sought out astrologers, psychics and other guiding spirits. In a career that combined prolific writing with running a program designed to teach others how to tap into their own creativity, she bounced back from near disasters again and again, even recovering from a nervous breakdown that landed her in the hospital with a diagnosis of manic depression. Throughout, the author never stopped exploring new genres, tackling big projects and discovering new talent in unexpected areas. She is a "floor sample of my own tool kit," and devotees of her creativityclasses may well be inspired by this enthusiastic outpouring. An absorbing narrative revealing a woman of extraordinary energy, drive and confidence.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Award-winning writer JULIA CAMERON is the author of twenty-four books, fiction and nonfiction, including The Artist's Way, The Vein of Gold, Walking in This World, The Right to Write, and The Sound of Paper. A novelist, playwright, songwriter, and poet, she has extensive credits in theater, film, and television.

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