By Susan Parcheta
Julia Cameron, bestselling author of ‘The Artist’s Way’ and ‘Vein of Gold,’ reveals her authentic writer self in her newest work: The Creative Life – True Tales of Inspiration.
The cover slogan, ‘Finding Your True North,’ seems misleading at first glance. As a writer, and as one who cares deeply about one’s creative life – and, as one who loves to write about the creative spirit in others – that’s what drew me into the story. Finding your true north; what writer, or any person, doesn’t wish to discover that? Finding your yellow brick road and following it, staying true to it, following your North Star.
While I was looking for new perspectives on Creative Spirit, what I found was affirmation of what I’ve known, intuitively, all along. Writing, or any other act of creativity, is all about relationships. As I read, I kept thinking how the book is set up as a running diary of a year or so in the life of a famous writer – a writer who inhabits New York’s Upper West Side, and who enjoys the company of many collaborative friends.
Being a famous writer is something I’d aspired to about as far back as Julia Cameron. I was so convinced about it, that after college, and after three years of teaching (and discovering that wasn’t where my soul wanted to be), I signed up for that illustrious correspondence school by the same name.
I’m not sure the school exists anymore. I still have the books; I’m tempted to get them out again, to see how far I’ve come and maybe to project myself into polishing my skills. You see, a local journalism job crept into my life. The hours of study, hoping to become that famous writer of books and magazine articles, were set aside for the local freelance/part-time/steady newspaper writing. I never completed the course. I accepted my lot as a comfortably well-known writer in my immediate geographic realm.
Why would Cameron’s book remind me of all this? Party, I guess, it’s because I see myself in this book. Whereas, with Cameron, ‘The Creative Life’ tells of a segment of her life where she struggles to find her voice again – another book. I’m thinking, “Where are my books? Why aren’t they written?”