The last time I spent any time with a book by Julia Cameron, I got into an altercation with my Writer. He hovered over my desk, whining relentlessly about how everyone else’s Muse went for long walks and exotic dates, sipping hot tea and macchiatos at tables adorned with fresh cut flowers.
I lost my temper and whipped a pencil, aiming between his doe eyes. He slunk away whimpering to the showers. Not long afterwards, I looked up to see his dripping form, wrapped in a towel and reaching out from the dim shadows of my office with a crumpled, soggy scrap of paper.
I sighed and read the shower-smeared ink. It turned out to be my very first poem.
Ms. Cameron and I have not yet reconciled.
But seduced by the intoxicating power of senseless banter and wordplay with L.L. Barkat, I reviewed a few book club options and watched in disbelief as I mouthed the words, “Let’s plan on The Artist’s Way.”
One of us believes I’ve matured enough to handle it this time. One of us is not so sure.
The book is considered by many to be a classic in learning to cultivate practices that will help unlock the creative process. In her introduction, Ms. Cameron calls it an “into-the-water” book that has helped readers move from “the embankment into the flow of a creative life. They went from not doing to doing, from not trying to trying, from stunted to flourishing.”
This is a twelve-week course, but we’ll be selecting five or six lessons to focus on together (if you have a don’t-miss chapter, let me know in the comments). The book club will start on Wednesday, May 23, with the introductory sections and Week 1: Recovering a Sense of Safety. Come and join the discussion in the comments, and link up any posts you write on the book.
My Writer, still rubbing that spot on his forehead, thinks it’s a terrific place to start. When he doesn’t think I’m paying attention, he whispers that he’s really excited to take this journey with you.
When I don’t think he’s paying attention, I steal his coffee mug.
Buy a year of Every Day Poems, just $5.99— Read a poem a day, become a better poet. In May we’re exploring the theme Roses.
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- The Reindeer Chronicles Book Club: You’re Cutting a Tree in Almería and Getting a Storm in Dusseldorf - February 17, 2021