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The Sound of Paper

The Sound of Paper

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by Julia Cameron

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The bestselling author of The Artist's Way draws on her many years of personal experience as both a writer and a teacher to uncover the difficult soul work that artists must do to find inspiration.


In The Sound of Paper, Julia Cameron delves deep into the heart of the personal struggles that all artists experience. What can we do when we


The bestselling author of The Artist's Way draws on her many years of personal experience as both a writer and a teacher to uncover the difficult soul work that artists must do to find inspiration.


In The Sound of Paper, Julia Cameron delves deep into the heart of the personal struggles that all artists experience. What can we do when we face our keyboard or canvas with nothing but a cold emptiness? How can we begin to carve out our creation when our vision and drive are clouded by life's uncertainties? In other words, how can we begin the difficult work of being an artist? In this inspiring book, Cameron describes a process of constant renewal, of starting from the beginning.  She writes, "When we are building a life from scratch, we must dig a little. We must be like that hen scratching beneath the soil. 'What goodness is hidden here, just below the surface?' we must ask."


With personal essays accompanied by exercises designed to develop the power to infuse one's art with a deeply informed knowledge of the soul, this book is an essential artist's companion from one of the foremost authorities on the creative process. Cameron's most illuminating book to date, The Sound of Paper provides readers with a spiritual path for creating the best work of their lives.


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Best known as the coauthor of The Artist's Way, creativity guru Cameron now offers a series of personal essays and exercises about working through creative droughts. She emphasizes the importance of acknowledging artist's blocks as a part of the creative process, but also "soldiering through" by continuing to show up "at the typewriter or the easel." In each essay, she invokes her own struggles to make time for creative work and avoid the traps set by the "inner censor." In "Getting at It," she writes that "[w]aiting for art to be easy, we make it hard. We take our emotional temperature and find ourselves below normal, lacking in resolve.... The truth is that getting at it makes it easier. Every day we write creates a habit of writing in us." In the exercise that follows, Cameron suggests that readers list five ways in which they have inched forward in a given day. Some pieces of advice are likely to resonate more with readers than others-and the author's straightforward message can seem one-note at times. But for novice artists looking for encouragement in an uninspired period, this volume could do the trick. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
At one time or another, all artists face an upsetting emptiness, be it a blank canvas, notepad, or computer screen. To help budding and established creative types cope, Cameron (The Artist's Way; The Right To Write) offers a series of personal essays, each followed by exercises designed to empathize with and nudge readers. As in her earlier books, she recommends three activities from her "Artist's Toolbox": "Morning Pages," writing about something-anything-every morning; "Artist Dates," taking a festive, soul-enhancing outing every week; and "Walks," taking a walk every day to awaken intuition, discover oneself, and access intuition. To help with "Morning Pages," she also provides exercises that illuminate one's thinking, e.g., making lists of items indicative of success and instances when the reader has shown persistence. Cameron's biggest asset is that she speaks from experience; she is an artist who has struggled, who still struggles, and who gets through. And she has some well-tested ideas for doing just that. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Deborah Bigelow, Leonia P.L., NJ Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
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Penguin Group
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495 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for THE ARTIST'S WAY...

THE ARTIST’S WAY by Julia Cameron is not exclusively about writing—it is about discovering and developing the artist within whether a painter, poet, screenwriter or musician—but it is a lot about writing. If you have always wanted to pursue a creative dream, have always wanted to play and create with words or paints, this book will gently get you started and help you learn all kinds of paying-attention techniques; and that, after all, is what being an artist is all about. It’s about learning to pay attention.”
—Anne Lamott, Mademoiselle
“The premise of the book is that creativity and spirituality are the same thing, they come from the same place. And we were created to use this life to express our individuality, and that over the course of a lifetime that gets beaten out of us. [THE ARTIST’S WAY] helped me put aside my fear and not worry about whether the record would be commercial.”
—Grammy award-winning singer Kathy Mattea
“Julia Cameron brings creativity and spirituality together with the same kind of step-by-step wisdom that Edgar Cayce encouraged. The result is spiritual creativity as a consistent and nourishing part of daily life.”
—Venture Inward
“I never knew I was a visual artist until I read Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY.”
—Jannene Behl in Artist’s Magazine
“Julia Cameron’s landmark book THE ARTIST’S WAY helped me figure out who I really was as an adult, not so much as an artist but as a person. And award-winning journalist and poet, Cameron’s genius is that she doesn’t tell readers what they should do to achieve or who they should be—instead she creates a map for readers to start exploring these questions themselves.”
—Michael F. Melcher, Law Practice magazine
“This is not a self-help book in the normative sense. It is simply a powerful book that can challenge one to move into an entirely different state of personal expression and growth.”
—Nick Maddox, Deland Beacon
THE ARTIST’S WAY (with its companion volume THE ARTIST’S WAY MORNING PAGES JOURNAL) becomes a friend over time, not just a journal. Like a journal, it provokes spontaneous insights and solutions; beyond journaling, it establishes a process that is interactive and dynamic.”
—Theresa L. Crenshaw, M.D., San Diego Union-Tribune
 “If you really want to supercharge your writing, I recommend that you get a copy of Julia Cameron’s book THE ARTIST’S WAY. I’m not a big fan of self-help books, but this book has changed my life for the better and restored my previously lagging creativity.”
—Jeffrey Bairstow, Laser Focus World
“Working with the principle that creative expression is the natural direction of life, Cameron developed a three month program to recover creativity. THE ARTIST’S WAY shows how to tap into the higher power that connects human creativity and the creative energies of the universe.”
—Mike Gossie, Scottsdale Tribune
THE ARTIST’S WAY is the seminal book on the subject of creativity and an invaluable guide to living the artistic life. Still as vital today—or perhaps even more so—than it was when it was first published in 1992, it is a provocative and inspiring work. Updated and expanded, it reframes THE ARTIST’S WAY for a new century.”
—Branches of Light
“THE ARTIST’S WAY has sold over 3 million copies since its publication in 1992. Cameron still teaches it because there is sustained demand for its thoughtful, spiritual approach to unblocking and nurturing creativity. It is, dare we say, timeless.”
—Nancy Colasurdo, FOXBusiness
Praise for VEIN OF GOLD, the second volume in the ARTIST’S WAY trilogy
“For those seeking the wellspring of creativity, this book, like its predecessor, is a solid gold diving rod.”

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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Sound of Paper: Starting from Scratch 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Richard_Szponder More than 1 year ago
Creativity expert Julia Cameron once again inspires the blocked artist in The Sound of Paper, a series of essays that serve as a roadmap to rediscovering the creativity that Cameron believes is the lifeblood at the core of everyone's soul. Designed for artists, writers, musicians, actors, sculptors, and anyone else whose desires lean toward the creative, Cameron's book reads similar to The Right to Write, another book of essays tailored more toward the impact writing can have on the creative life. Written during the summer months spent while living in Taos, New Mexico, Cameron begins each essay with a description of the weather, the landscape, or the culture of one of Taos, one of America's hotbeds of artistic inspiration. Cameron makes comparisons of the natural world around her to the creative lives of the individuals she seeks to help unblock. The essays are short, running on average two or three pages, and the initial paragraphs of explicit description of Taos and the weather can become frustrating after a while. Keep reading. Get past the mundane to the core of the essay, and you will find inspiring expert advice. Many of the concepts explored in The Sound of Paper are the same as in Cameron's best-selling creativity workshop, The Artist's Way. The Sound of Paper serves as outstanding supplemental reading for anyone undertaking The Artist's Way. Each essay is followed by an activity intended in helping the reader experience first-hand the concepts discussed. Cameron explores all aspects of creativity, from the root causes behind blocked artists to dealing with creative reawakening and even surrounding ourselves with supportive and encouraging friends. She takes things a step further by encouraging her readers to explore their deepest desires, imagining themselves as fulfilling their creative dreams and setting goals - both long and short term - to achieve them. Cameron discounts common stereotypes of artistic people, explaining that artists need not be loners, eccentric, alcoholic, or unhappy. So many of these stereotypes force individuals to shy away from an artistic life. Cameron explains creativity as the reason for life on earth, linking creativity to spirituality and a higher power she refers to as God, or the Great Creator. Her perspective is unique in that she asks her readers to consider themselves as conduits, or channels, tapping into the creative energy of the universe and bringing art to life. Cameron encourages the removal of the ego in the process of making art. A worthwhile and inspiring book for anyone seeking to get in touch with their creativity, The Sound of Paper will challenge readers to go outside of their comfort zone and take a chance on implementing a happier, more fulfilling existence. Aside from the often too details prose regarding New Mexico and the stretching comparisons, the book is filled with solid advice and inspirational stories of creative awakening.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago