After The Artist’s Way became such a huge phenomenon, Julia Cameron followed up with a number of books, many of which support, directly and indirectly, The Artist’s Way. After browsing through the lists of her many offerings, it appears that The Artist’s Way has become something of a cottage industry.
A few days ago, one of you asked about a 700-page “Complete Artist’s Way.” YIKES! And there are Morning Pages Journals, books of artist’s prayers and artist’s affirmations. There is an Artist’s Way Workbook, which one reviewer notes is “exactly the same as the book, adding space for writing. There is nothing new in it at all. Save your money and buy a journal.”
Yes, these additional derivations and collections, like “Heart Steps,” and “The Vein of Gold,” both of which I own, are very inspiring. I don’t claim to know every single Artist’s Way-related publication, and if something seems to call to you, by all means, go for it. And feel free to share with us!
But I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to hand over sacks of money to join in with this. If you feel would like to purchase one book, I would simply recommend the original, “The Artist’s Way,” in paperback. (# ISBN-13: 978-1585421466)
In addition to this as our basic text (for now!), other fundamental parts of doing this work involve making several time commitments. The book is supposedly a 12-week program. I imagine it will take us longer here, especially since I am only using The Artist’s Way as a foundation for a bigger intention of finding new ways for us to bring magic and enchantment forth into the world by opening to Creativity.
Julia suggests that, in order to work her program, you make at least a one-hour commitment each day to the exercises. I can assure you that literally writing and completing the exercises is essential. This is not something you can just read and think, “Hmmm..” and feel like you’ve done what needs to be done.
This is a definitely a case of what you give is what you get. The more time and commitment you give to the exercises, the more profound your insights and transformation will be. If you only skim the surface and do not devote serious attention to the exercises and tasks, your results are going to be unsatisfying.
What else can we expect? Based on my experience, Julia wisely predicts, “Working with this process, I see a certain amount of defiance and giddiness in the first few weeks. This entry stage is followed closely by explosive anger in the course’s midsection. The anger is followed by grief, then alternating waves of resistance and hope. This peaks-and-valleys phase of growth becomes a series of expansions and contractions, a birthing process in which students experience intense elation and defensive skepticism.
“This choppy growth phase if flowed by a strong urge to abandon the process and return to life as we know it. In other words, a bargaining period. People are often tempted to abandon the course at this point. I call this a creative U-turn. Recommitment to the process next triggers the free-fall of a major ego surrender. Following this, the final phase of the course is characterized by a new sense of self marked by increased automony, resilience, expectancy, and exitement – as well as by the capacity to make and execute concrete creative plans.”
So if this sounds like something you’re willing to undergo, great! Meet me back here tomorrow, and I’ll tell you what other gear you need for our soulful expedition.