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The Creative Life: True Tales of Inspiration


In The Creative Life, bestselling author of The Artist's Way Julia Cameron parts the curtain on her own life to reveal a world rich with creative possibility.
According to Julia Cameron, when we allow our creative spirit to serve as our compass, we discover that the art we have always longed to create is suddenly within our grasp. In this book, she shows readers how to use their creative hearts and minds to cultivate lives that nourish ...

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The Creative Life: True Tales of Inspiration

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In The Creative Life, bestselling author of The Artist's Way Julia Cameron parts the curtain on her own life to reveal a world rich with creative possibility.
According to Julia Cameron, when we allow our creative spirit to serve as our compass, we discover that the art we have always longed to create is suddenly within our grasp. In this book, she shows readers how to use their creative hearts and minds to cultivate lives that nourish and sustain their art. Through beautifully drawn scenes from her own life, as well as the lives of the many artists around her, Cameron reveals that creativity flourishes during the quiet pauses in our lives—and that it is only when we allow ourselves to slow down and savor life that we uncover ways to depict it sensitively and poetically in our art.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her life, Cameron has learned to seize whatever moments of creative time she can get. "Small tidbits add up to a larger whole," she says, one of the compact yet insightful truisms that make up this volume of enlightening analogies, confessions, and vignettes of Cameron's life on New York's Upper West Side. From dinners and musicals to teaching engagements and writing sessions, Cameron's latest contribution to her already extensive list of titles is something of a diary, exposing her personal life with unexpected honesty and humility. A spat with her inner censor, a made up "gay British designer" she's named Nigel, gives the book a light-hearted and relatable tone. Colorful characters, including actors turned writers, musicians turned songwriters, poets turned playwrights, and songwriter-bakers, make up an encouraging community of creators. Practical, productive, and passionate, Cameron and her Believing Mirrors ("people who see our power and potential and reflect it back at us") show the artistic way in an organic light that makes it seem approachable and attainable, revealing how living creatively can be as calibrated as a work of fiction.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
Writing in short, easily digestible chapters, Cameron (The Sound of Paper: Starting from Scratch) encourages readers to weave their inner creativity into their everyday lives. She demonstrates, through diary-like vignettes, how the most everyday activity—e.g., walking dogs—can be seen as an artistic pursuit. The beauty of this book is that Cameron details the ordinariness of it all. One does not live on a roller-coaster ride of creative excitement. Yet one can still live the artistic life and offer good things to the world. Cameron's guide would be of particular help to new artists or those who fear they don't have the "magic" art requires.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399160523
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/25/2012
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,366,011
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.06 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Julia Cameron has been an active artist for more than thirty years, with fifteen books (including bestsellers The Artist's Way 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 which featured Miles Davis, and Elvis and the Beauty Queen, which starred Don Johnson. She was a writer on such movies as Taxi Driver, New York, New York, and The Last Waltz. She wrote, produced, and directed the award-winning independent feature film, God's Will, which premiered at the Chicago International Film Festival, and was selected by the London Film Festival, the Munich International Film Festival, and Women in Film Festival, among others. In addition to making film, Cameron has taught film at such diverse places as Chicago Filmmakers, Northwestern University, and Columbia College.

She is an award-winning playwright, whose work has appeared on such well-known stages as the McCarter Theater at Princeton University and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

From the popular workshops on unlocking creativity and living from the creative center she has taught for two decades, came her book, The Artist's Way (Tarcher/Putnam), which has become an international bestseller, published in a dozen languages with worldwide sales of over one million copies. In the United States, The Artist's Way has appeared on many bestseller lists, including Publishers Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, The Denver Post, and many others.

She has taught The Artist's Way workshops to such places as The Smithsonian, The New York Times, Omega Institute, Esalen, The Open Center, Interface, Wisdom House, and many others. As a result of her workshops and book, The Artist's Way, creativity groups have formed across America, and throughout the world, from the jungles of Panama to the Outback of Australia.

Her work on the artist's soul includes The Right to Write (Tarcher/Putnam), which was published in January 1999, and appeared on such bestseller lists as The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, and The Denver Post. Other works include The Vein of Gold (Tarcher/Putnam), an amazing book of tools expressly for the healing and rehabilitation of the artist's soul in us all. This fall, Tarcher/Putnam will publish three new humor/spirituality titles, God Is No Laughing Matter, Supplies, and Dog is God Spelled Backwards.

Cameron has had an accomplished, distinguished, and extensive journalism career, and her credits include writing on the arts for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. At age 23, Cameron was already writing features and book criticism for The Washington Post and later covered arts as a special correspondent for The Chicago Tribune.

She wrote for Rolling Stone and New York magazines during their most influential years, and was cited in Time magazine for her Watergate coverage in Rolling Stone. Hand-picked by legendary editor Jim Bellows, she wrote an OpEd column for Vogue magazine. Cameron has been a frequent columnist and contributor for American Film magazine for more than a decade. Her newspaper and magazine articles, essays and reviews on the arts number well into the hundreds. She won the prestigious Maggie Award for Best Editorial Writing for a story in American Film magazine on the danger of the intersection of sex and violence in movies.

She is a published poet, novelist and essayist. Her essays have been collected in several anthologies, including The Rolling Stone Reader and The Dark Room (Carroll and Graf), a novel about violence and child abuse. This fall, Cameron will also release Popcorn: Hollywood Stories (Really Great Books), inspired by her days in The Business.

In addition to writing words, Cameron writes music. She has taught at the National Songwriter's Association in Nashville. After being a lyricist for others for several decades, Cameron recently began writing her own compositions. A main focus for her in the last three years has been music and sound healing, including writing Avalon, a musical based on the Arthurian legend and set in modern times.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Peak Into The Daily Life Of The Premiere Expert on Creativity

    Julia Cameron offers her readers a direct peak into her daily life events and interactions in The Creative Life: True Tales of Inspiration. Fans of Cameron's other work related to creativity and spirituality will enjoy this book that is presented as a series of journal entries detailing how Cameron lives a creative life. Newcomers to Cameron or those unfamiliar with her previous work may have a difficult time understanding this book, as they might ask questions like, "Who is this person?" and "Why should I care?" Cameron's seasoned fans are the ones who will truly benefit from The Creative Life. These journal entries are quite revealing and demonstrate that the some of the difficulties and challenges a young artist might face are still present later in life. Cameron, a successful writer with more than thirty books published, still doubts has doubts about her work and struggles to find meaning. That she, herself, uses the same tools she prescribes in her famous The Artist's Way to overcome conflict in her own creative life is refreshing and adds further credibility to her expertise in creative recover, as if that was necessary. Cameron shares the details of piano lessons, discussions with friends while at lunch, holidays spent with other artists, intimate conversations with her daughter, and vacations to her roommate's family's home in Maine. In this book, we discover what meetings with her agent and her publisher are like as they discuss her ongoing projects. Particularly interesting are moments where we are exposed to what Cameron's life as a teacher is like when she struggles with a particularly difficult group of students studying The Artist's Way. As a multi-talented artist, Cameron also struggles as she strives to bring her stage productions to life and revive a musical she had been working on a decade after setting it aside to work on other projects. What we see in The Creative Life is the story of a woman who seems to have found the perfect balance between living a fiercely independent life while still surrounding herself with a supportive base of close friends willing to be honest and share their opinions and feedback. Her life is a series of give-and-take as she counsels others while accepting advice and coaching from her family and close friends. The Creative Life offers no new perspective into creativity and follows in the same time-honored tradition of Cameron's well-established theories on creativity. Little is offered here as to how one breaks free from being creatively blocked which is why I suggest this book only for those already familiar with her previous work. Readers looking for inspiration and insight into becoming unblocked would be much better off looking into Cameron's earlier works first. Try all of the books in The Artist's Way series, The Right to Write, and The Sound of Paper. Become familiar with Cameron's theories and tools before moving onto The Creative Life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

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