The Artist’s Way

Julia Cameron

Rediscover Your Creativity

This book feels like it has been around forever. Creatives from all walks of life talk about how it has impacted them and their creativity including, writers, actors, musicians and visual artists. My copy was a gift for a childhood friend, someone who knew me well enough to know that I was stuck without me having to tell them. It sat on my shelf for many years, I wasn’t ready to read it and face my stuck-ness, but when I did, it opened up new ways of thinking and doing, tools that I still use to this day.

The Artist’s way bold claim is it is a roadmap to help us unlock our creative potential and reclaim our artistic voice. For me it moved the dial, a step closer to understanding where my creativity lay. Some years after reading it the first time, I worked through the exercises with a group of creative friends and got even more from it. The power of shared experience brought elements of the roadmap to life I didn’t realise on my own.

At the heart of The Artist’s Way is the philosophy that each of us is inherently creative, with the power to unleash our unique artistic expression upon the world. We are guided through 12 weeks of exercises, reflections, and practical tools. Each one aims to dissolve a barrier or challenge that stands between us and our creative selves.

Morning Pages

One of the cornerstone practices introduced in The Artist’s Way is the concept of Morning Pages. 3 pages of longhand, stream-of-consciousness writing done first thing in the morning. These pages allow us to purge our minds of the clutter and noise that inhibit our creative flow. By clearing away the mental debris, we create space for fresh ideas to emerge and insights to take root.

I have had many stops and starts with Morning Pages over the years but have been consistent with them since October 2022. I keep the notebooks when finished although I don’t re-read them – they are as described above, streams of consciousness. Artist friends I know destroy them immediately after they are written. Either way it is the act of the writing, not the output that is important in the process.

If I miss a few days I notice the difference!

Artists Dates

Equally transformative is the idea of a weekly Artist’s Date. A solo excursion designed to nurture our inner artist and replenish our creative wellspring. It’s a time for play, exploration and looking after your creative self. For me at least it feels self-indulgent, but it reminds us that creativity thrives in moments of joy and spontaneity, and that by nurturing our inner child, we can ignite the spark of inspiration within.


But perhaps the most important aspect of The Artist’s Way is the emphasis on working through the exercises. Cameron encourages us to approach the process with an open heart, a spirit of curiosity and trust. Through journaling, visualization, and other reflective practices, the aim is to confront our fears, confront our inner critics, and rediscover the joy of creating for creation’s sake. A tall ask, but I have witnessed it is indeed possible!

There is an accompanying workbook available in paperback and a helpful spiral bound version. I was pleased to have the Workbook and filled its pages with thoughts and ideas in response to the questions. If you are into Journalling and already have notebooks to hand, the workbook really isn’t necessary. All the questions are in the main book.

If you are currently creatively stuck and can commit to the work over 3 months then I highly recommend diving into The Artist’s Way with an open mind. Even better, find an artist friend to keep you accountable and work through it with them. Someone you feel comfortable enough to be vulnerable with about your fears and dreams. The difference for me was stark and transformative.

Morning Pages and Artist’s Dates will nourish your soul. The act of embracing your creativity will enrich your life, but you probably knew that anyway. What are you waiting for?

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