IntrepidWoman's Journey

The torments of a creative mind…

Posted on: September 18, 2011

I have just finished reading the autobiography of Julia Cameron. I am left with feelings of awe and am overwhelmed at the breadth of her creative works because she is exactly the same age as me. She only had a head start of five months.

This woman, who is best known for writing “The Artist’s Way” and who has a following of millions to her theories of Morning Pages and unblocking creativity, cannot be considered simply as a writer. Besides about 22 books that range from creativity lessons to dark novels to prayers for children, she has written screenplays and musicals, taught her theories extensively around the world, and earlier worked as a journalist, (writing for the likes of the New Yorker and Rolling Stone).

Her autobiography is exhausting to read. Julia takes the reader through early years of alcoholism and many more years of hard-fought sobriety, numerous literary successes, 2 marriages where she is careful not to malign the husbands, but the facts are underlined, as she sees them, and later, into the world of her emotional breakdowns.

It is too personal, but I was unable to put the book down. I did not enjoy sharing all the pain in her life’s journey, and I so hoped for a happy ending, one with a prince charming, mental stability and Julia finding a place to call home. Throughout the book she moved all over the U.S., never feeling she belonged or often feeling she belonged elsewhere.

Hers is a creative mind that I would not wish for. She woke to tunes and lyrics in her head, which she had to write down but did not have a musical background so sang them into a tape recorder, and she had ideas for books that kept her writing day and night and fading into the illusions she was creating.

This book was a scary journey, but fascinating as well as incredulous in some places. I experienced annoyance and disbelief in places as well.

Bottom line, it is a good read; one of the best I have had in a long while. I have always thought of Julia Cameron as a creative guru and expected her life to be that of riches and fame and time spent with friends in fancy New York restaurants. Reading her autobiography, I find a very vulnerable human being who at all times has tried to do the best she could in all things as well as to follow her life’s desire from an early age to be a writer.

In my mind, balance is missing. Do most great writers have to suffer through life? Historically, it would seem so, but that is a high price to pay.

Thank you for a window into your world, Julia Cameron.  I shall close it now and walk away softly.

________

“floor sample, a creative memoir” by Julia Cameron

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