« Good Life Project

Behind The Artist's Way | Julia Cameron

2019-07-25 | 🔗

After years of teaching workshops on creative unblocking and self-publishing her exercises, Julia Cameron (https://juliacameronlive.com/) launched a global phenomenon in 1992 with the publication of The Artist's Way (https://amzn.to/2JPzrvJ). The book has since been translated into 40 languages, sold over five million copies and, along with companion workshops, brought creativity into the mainstream conversation— in the arts, in business, and in everyday life. Along the way, Cameron has authored more than 40 books, plays and screenplays, written for Rolling Stone, The Washington Post and The New York Times, and collaborated with legends of television and movies, including Martin Scorsese, who would, for a time, become her partner in life as well. In today's conversation, we dive into Julia's early years, her entrée into the writing life, her years-long struggle with addiction and awakening from it, her time in the world of movies, and her fierce commitment to her craft and to helping others find their creative voices and let them out.


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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
When I think about my guess this week, I think about somebody who, Maybe he has been told you have changed, my life so many times, I'm guessing hundreds of thousands, if not millions of times over the course of the last few decades, Julia cameron wrote a book called the artist way which has sold millions, millions and millions of copies, it has planted the sea. Of this thing in the world of anyone who has it it of bone in their body called morning pages, which is incredibly powerful tool to get unstuck or unblock she has been itching around the world for decades, writing she's written dozens of books scream is please musicals, astonished
Lee prolific in every part of her life, and she has made such a profound differ and so many people's lives. Many of the people who have created the work that have changed our lives, so the ripple effect, is wrong. the incredible. When I sit down with Julia, we were actually in her home instead of in mexico The conversation really was much more focused on d on her personal arms worry on her life on what it was to come up in her family to find a way navigate. Her way very in the world of creativity and writing she found herself in her and he's married briefly to martin scarcity. We talk about that. To have time and also found herself in a deeply addicted window of her life. That would affect turn a lot of profound ways. We talked about
and how she sort of found her way out of it and back into the world of being an incredibly productive kind, generous creator writer teacher mentor to so many different people. If such a move, an inspiring conversation to be able to share Some time with her at her home in santa FE as she reflected on this beautiful wise journey and a very real and vulnerable way, was really special for me and I'm super excited be able to share with you I'm Jonathan fields- and this is good life project the so the ten percent happier podcast has one guiding philosophy. Happiness is still that you can learn. So why not embrace it? It's hosted by dan harris journalists who,
A panic attack on national television and then send out on this journey of transformation and he's now on a quest to help. Others also achieve peace and happiness, and every week Dan talked you top scientists, meditation teachers. Even the odd celebrity in wide ranging conversations that explore topics like productivity, anxiety and lightness, psychedelic and relationships, the interviews cover every one from bernay brown to cerebral ass to SAM Harrison more. I love learning from his questions and experiences and incredible guess think of listening to ten percent happier as a work out. For your mind, fine ten percent happier where every listen to pot casts how does a I even work where it is creativity come from? What's this where, to living longer, ted radio, our explores the biggest questions with some of the world's greatest thinkers? They will prize challenge and even change you listen to, and pierre is ted radio, our whatever you get your past library
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an expert analysis as soon as you sign up if you're interested in subjects like this go to economist dot com, slash project for full access to the topics that matter too new and original analysis as events unfold, that's economist, dot, com, slash project or just click. The link in the show notes to start your one month, free trial with the economist today, because the world won't wait, and is a little bit different, were actually recording this out and santa fe sitting across from joy coming in her living room and with it randal small table or to the left. Is this stunning picture window looking out at the mountains, which is what you wake up to every day and see yes This is a relatively recent reality for you either. So, let's mistake and take a big step back in time trace a little bit of your story. Touchdown in some momentum on the way and then than can occur,
more and more recent and talk about some of your work. Your way just from a social cover. Yes, I grew up in liberty. Veal is Illinois tell him. I'm a bad lay stevenson, oh no kidding, and I once jumped my pony. a fence and landed on one of his lambs. There's gotta be more that story, so he was now not least What was that the town like round acquisition was what about forty five minutes in our outside of Chicago? Yes, anna, the town small and it was not yet mueller town to Chicago, so people lived there and work there. I and my father commuted to chicago,
He was an early bird, whether he there he was an advertising. Copywriter ah said growing up, were you Ooh. Did you have conversations with him about what he did? Was it a curiosity at all for you or not so much. Will he and my mother were both writers and we we all grew up with writing as a template and the power of example,. He loved his work. I and my mother had masters degree in English and she loved to teach. So we had seven children, all being endured and encouraged creativity, they never said. Oh sweetheart, don't you think you might? something to fall back on. We never heard that
they always assumed we would do well. Living our wits said, Kids were where were you in that I was the second to the oldest a girl. There were five listen to boys while Was it like growing up in a family like that, while it was great, my mother was very creative. and she would set us up at the table after school with art supplies. And we would do the project of the time if it was halloween. We were drawing pumpkins. If christmas, we were making snowflakes and we had having courage meant my parents would hang the court good art
up and we all got shut? having good out. There was Was there a competition for him who got hung up on any given wake? Not really you know my parents were very persuasive, in talking about sharing, share alike and so we never head of sense of oh, my god, I've got to beat out canny instead, it is julie and are both making art. So I feel, like I grew up in a atmosphere. Fear that was conducive to creativity. There did I'm curious. Did you feel so? This would have been fifteen sixties? Did you feel it that maybe not at the moment, but even reflecting back like that kind of atmosphere
her was different, especially for that time. What do you feel like that was sort of common, like any other, That was how you friends were growing up, and that was just the common ethos. Will we were very popular and our friends who had come over to the house and make art with us. So you were there swear everyone came in created said my mother was a great baker that sanctions? so we were the house where everyone was creative and everyone got cookies. That sounds like has to be asked of us? It was the house to be at their when if you can write How do you feel, like you started experience the creative life as a potential? it actually devote yourself as a potential way
go out into the world and make this you're a cop thing. Six great! Really what happened? I had a boy named Peter Monday, who was glamorous to me he was southern. He will move to. an eye for Missouri. He had here the color of tupolev honey. He had an whisperings, sorters seductive soft voice and I wanted him to be my boyfriend I wanna desperately him to love me. So I started writing short stories. I end sliding them over to his desk ion would happened was that he fell in love with peggy can right, but I fell in love. Threading said It was the mo had never left, no we'd, never left. I was very lucky in haste, I had a nun named
strawberry, Julia clare baviaan. I am she encourage my writing. and gave me a column in the local newspaper and so I was encouraged to believe that what I to say, was smash. Did you believe that at that point. I think I must have. I think I'm believed that putting words to the page was a special mac I and that I had the neck. I was very lucky and one, went to college. I headed professor named brad, your slinky. I am The professor named roland flint, and encouraged me ass, a writer on the increase,
my poetry. They encourage me to believe that's what I was writing deserve to be published. and so I I sort of grew up. And grew into a belief for myself are you you wanted georgetown? and then for them is all right. I went to george tone mine junior year and spent in the bronx set for them and for him didn't have the reputation in the georgetown did, but it was much school, so I went to for them and spend a year getting straight a's and then I went back to joint, shannon said now. Will you let me graduate basle omen and tell me What about that? Well, george, she was
eminently a boy school. I am, I said, I wanted to be a writer relation whole, but going to be a wise and. men are riders, so they were very discouraging. And I was very determined and I started writing political. diatribes, I guess against the administration and they were only too glad to have had you haven t shirt, will you along and answer? that's interesting sue you, it sounds. You had a few very direct mentors are more teachers who strongly encouraged this side of you but the the bigger sort of administrative ethos,
We know this isn't actually right, not just for you, but for women in general. Yes, and you, actually felt the need to to literally go to another school and then come back almost as a mechanism to help demonstrate like no. This is right. Well, I went to church town italian major. Ok and when I got there, I found out the whole tell your italian department had been hired away by middlebury, so and I said well b. I should be an english major ion That's when they said. Oh, no, dear men are english majors. Not it. So it was almost like. It was ok for you to take classes in that area.
To actually make that your major that's where things became more the challenge. Yes, very sticky, yeah. I did The two professor till you mentioned, who really strongly encouraging the writing side of you. I'm curious, whether you at that I'm had conversations with them about what was actually going on and how they felt sort of being caught in the middle to a certain extent know we. We didn't talk about it. They just made me assignments. Anna Julie you made when I was. Consequently there julie you might want to try and write a poem about acts or julie. Don't you think
Did you have a better understanding of jane austen than some of the men in the class they were encouraging and they didn't Expressing anger the state of affairs they just accepted it in pointed away out so a sort of encouraging your individual exploration and skills and abilities and development of your creative capacity. At the same time or saying, let's get you through this, so they can go out into the world and and begin to actually do it more. Yes, I saw it. I can't let drop. Where does julie become Julia and why
Oh all right, I was Julie growing up and then, when I started right, in for publication. I thought too doesn't sound, very persuasive or dignified, And Julia sounds better, so I be Julia cameron writer, so it was a professional decision. Yes interesting. So what leaving georgetown then I know at some point you end up at washington post was at immediately after where their steps in the middle there were the steps in the middle. I went home briefly to help my family. I came back to washington and a boy that I went to high school is called me up and said. Would you like to work towards and post.
Said. No, I'm good story, writer, not a journalist, and he said well, they pay sixty seven dollars a week and so on. The basis of that was how money I needed. I said: ok, I'll, try it and what did you start doing there? Then I was a letter opener I was, somebody who's sordid mail, it we were called cappy aids job was to support the writers. I and I failed Certainly I hear them a night work is. The editor in chief came by and said Julie. You look depressed
I said: well, I just type tomorrow section and stinks and he said well, if you think you can do better, feel free and then what the dinner, and while he was a dinner, I wrote my first piece of journalism ion he came back and he read it and said o Incidentally, I owe you an apology. we running this on sunday, so I had locked in to another man tour, I began ready for the post, and you know that you couldn't tell that. I wasn't a reporter we'll, because the byline just said Julia cameron, it didn't say too, the camera copy aid Lowly servant while- and at that point I mean if you're, writing and you're being published in the paper
What was it like for you? If you recall, when he came and you had just rewritten this peace and he showed it to him. did you actually have an expectation that he would legitimately considerate and and then once he said, no we're running this. What does that feel like to you cause that first moment it was terrific and it was expected because I had had the experience with my men. Toys of right pieces and having them say? Oh, this is very good to me. So I was expecting how this is very good. Jewelry. and it was true that the section that I had typed for the next day- it's so you use and that effectively becomes your entre and to quote journalism into writing for this,
legendary paper? Yes, I wrote for them emma? I had a good time writing for them. I and then I got a phone call from rolling stone. They had been reading. Me in the post and they said Would you like to write for us and of course it was wrong stone. So, of course I said yes, would have been early seventies at that point. Vs, ok, so royce. Is also. Currently I mean I wouldn't say hey day, but they were of one yeah. It was thompson, it was Joe, To house yeah I mean that it is incredible line up. Yes, what was it like stepping into
well by first assignment from them was too right. Body howard hunt, children, I and they said. You do this and I said no, it's prying and they said what would you try I and I borrowed occur. From a washington post reporter and drove out the suburbs with Children were living largely unsupervised. I am, I said, I'm rolling stone. Would you like to talk to me, of course rolling stone was magic to them. The boy said John aunt Hannah band I saw it was just right up their alley and they were like we'd love to talk to you, so they did and the peace became famous I ended, opened a lot of doors for me.
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At that time we still writing for watching a poster. Was it you had transition completely to rolling stone. I transition completely right and also, I guess that then nature of the pieces at your writing changed as well. Yes, I think for the post, I was writing style. This lifestyle pieces. For rolling stone. I was right, These terms, where did that change? The way that you want about what you're doing here or did a change. The way you felt about who you are and what your ultimate job was there's a couple of questions as it should change. The way I viewed myself, I had a compliment from a razor name nor I fran
and she said you write the best leads in the country, and I thought, oh Maybe I can take this seriously there. That's erin powerful words from a powerful writer that time and if we zoom the lens out this is this: is your professional version of what's happening serve in the bigger picture of your life? Not much in my life was my work my writing once my path? I found myself. Understanding the gold. some of my peers ion were having legitimate calls like I'm going to,
Elizabeth, I'm going to get married, I'm going to have children and I thought I'm going to write How did you reconcile that? Or did you just leave it out there? Will I I myself, gravitating toyed other people. Who were also is committed to writing this. I was I am now one of the most hundred thompson and He said to me once Julia the sick, to good journalism is good notes and I, always remembered that and strove to take good note there It and it sounds like you very much did stand.
In this. At that point, you stood in that identity, as a journalist like this, which I am yet it's interesting to me, cause I sometimes wonder. But what is the difference when somebody who is a quote writer or rights, lifestyle pieces or editorial or books and a journalist anna at least four miles. It feels like a so much of it is a real understood. skill set of information acquisition discovery I wish the snob tommy war I I didn't want. To identify as a journalist really why, because I had been in short stories, and I can those who hire form so I was reluctant. I was a reluctant journalist, even though I be and have success there. I am encourage there. I thought
myself feeling kid was selling out and I guess, if you look at two hundred tonnes right. known for really both journalism, but also the story side. So developing this career, surrounded by an astonishing cast at rolling stone how long were you actually at rostov, or will I didn't officially right for them? Ok, They would call me every so often It lasted a couple of years until I buried mark, who says he I am then they said. If you want to write for us again get divorced. The belief was.
I would be unduly influenced by my husband's views. I am. I was insulted. And I thought I certainly can hold my own end they were firm. I am glad I did get a voice, they said you can write for us again They were very sexist. I mean when, when you say, influence by his views are tell me more about what you mean by that will. They were assigned me movie pieces, okay, ireland, they were feeling like. I would be unduly influenced by martens perception, something somewhere.
So they're saying you don't have your effectively the ability to have your own point of view independent. so much so that they didn't trust you to continue to ride. I think the answer, but how does that land with you? You had to make you feel well, I was aggravated listen. I was frustrated. I was incensed in I looked down on them from looking down on me so when Their marriage ends anxious about a year and a half later and they come back to you and say: ok, we're good, how would you responded deadline I needed. Job. So I went back right, so
kind of like reality, kicks in right, and it is part of the reason that that you, the job at the same time as in that intervening year, you darling at my, but you have a child right. So all of a sudden, you find yourself now a single mom, was a need to support my daughter and and the amplified reality that we're talking about it was at amplified, reality was rude shock. You know I went from me, able to travel, be able. Beyond sets to suddenly being more homebound and I started, writing for women's magazines, mademoiselle folk glamour and the
and right lifestyle essays for them, and I want to say their is saved. My life herself money. So when you stepped back in and you're starting to write, those pieces I have also written very openly that and tell me if I have the timing right here, that round that same window, you who had? I mean you started you you're drinking, certainly around people where there seem to be a very public association with being able to create High level and some form of intoxication or addiction, and that became up to a certain extent, a part of your life as well not to a certain extent, to a great extent. I started drinking when I was nineteen, which was
be a little late and I found myself blacking out, I and I thought blackouts were you did a your friends told you about and drink for ten years, and The rolling stone years were drinking years and cocaine years. I and I realized that using Tax weakens wasn't going to get me where I wanted to go so it was. largely ambition that skill me to a halt, and I I found myself thinking.
I don't know. If I can write without scotch is if this ouch itself we're doing the writing. I anna luckily discovered the could not only right but right, more freely What was there I mean it sounds like you're concerned at this point, your supporting yourself, your supporting your daughter by writing and, if part of you're questioning his will. I still be able to write on a level that lets me not just express myself but support us when I'm sober and that's heavy. It was heavy. There was a dark time yeah
it was so dark tat was there and I'm always curious when, when you make an abrupt left her with something around addiction or something around substance, very often there a moment there there's either happening or a reckoning or an awakening. I'm curious with you. I mean you said, serbia, you came to this realization. Was it gradual emergence for you or was there's something that happened or was there moment or day or an incident? Well, what happened? was: I stayed out all night one night and left my daughter the baby sitter eye, and then I thought my god, I'm an unfit mother, and that woke me up and I got help so.
How quickly did you realize? You said that you realise that you are not just an equally good but better writer when you're clean when you're sober. Did you away into that pretty really pretty immediately? Well, I was lucky. I had some friends who had gotten sober ahead of me here I and they said, try learning something spiritual right through you, and I said what, if it doesn't want to, and they said well, just try soil a little note up by my writing station. It said, okay, god I'll, take care of the quantity. You take care of the quality, and then I sat down to write and what I found was that. When I had been drinking in using, I had been focused on being brilliant
and I was asked my writing to do two things: to convey information and to impress people and the soul it's no wonder that sort of buckled under the weight of the two intense demands and then when I started to write sober, It was no longer, A matter of being brilliant. Was a matter of trying to be truthful? to be honest, trying to write down what seems to want to be written through me and. As a result, my writings, straightened out and my career took off Yeah I mean you're correct, I guess in a number of different ways, so this would have been so what now we're talking service.
seventies, early eighties ish ride around in their ninety. Seventy eight ok, so you can pick it up to the year you start, writing more? Your career starts growing. I dont know if you can answer this, but I'm curious about it. Because, when you're writing, when you're did and when you're writing your experience. The creative process in one way, and maybe not as clearly because of this state of mind,. How did the actual experience of being in the creative moment, regardless of what the was regardless of whether your writing, better or worse, naturally, being within the creative moment, feel different for you. Well, it felt easy, which was different,
you know before that I had struggled and adds strained to be creative in brilliant and good at it and respected and when I started writing sober I've. found myself having a sense of ease? Ah, I could actually live. Will a creative force working through me, so it was, it was potent it's there. Difference between writing to try and create a certain Parents are reality, verses writing to simply reveal what is what you know to be true and real right.
I am, I would imagine that also comes with a sense of relief to a certain extent. of shock? Oh really tell me more well, it was. It was shocking to me to find that I could write freely and I was great. I and I began to have assignments I found myself trying to bees lucid trying to be clear, trying to be truthful, trying to be anything other than impressive. and in doing so he became impressive. I it is their right exactly. I mean it's interesting though, that works. So or writing, and your career is developing. Now, as a writer,
when you're also become involved in screen? Where was I also happening sort of in this mid? Seven he's late late seventies When do I was later it studied earlier, when I made my, Scorsese he was making taxi driver and he gave me the script to read and I thought some of it didn't work. So I sat down and boldly wrote out stuff, I thought would work and I showed it to him and he proposed. Probably not the reaction. Newark, anticipating well when I met him, I had called my mother and said: met the man I'm going to marry no kidding. and she said: does he know that, apparently soon after he did,
So why was it you're like for you heavy and difficult heavy and difficult the day after we had married was the beginning of the cocaine addiction, and there very black and very terrible- and I lost touch with my close friends who had known me, sort of wind in the year.
I got pregnant, I got pregnant, no wedding night, too good catholic, and that meant that I gave up drugs for the duration, And so I was surrounded by people who were actively using. And I felt like tat man out and. When I had my daughter, immediately said now can I have some cookie, so it was pretty persuasive addiction, I and so pretty tough here, but you pulled out of it pretty
seems like pretty soon after that I mean. I know the marriage didn't end, the way that you would have wanted it. your last as all the air you ve written you shared gaelic very transparently about that. So when you emerged from that and when that ends, you begin a sober life. You begin writing. You begin also raising your daughter. And building your career, while your daughter was with you rightly right, sir we're talking late seventies, then moving into the earth it. Is you billing a career, a single mom with a young daughter in the world? writing what was lifelike as you're, starting to sort of rebuild effectively. Well, was a matter of going from assignment to assignment. I am hoping that
since we are going to be accepted and I had some lucky breaks Oh, I wrote for my the ice. I wrote movie for elvis presley fans, the started and johnson in them I The sole rule number of movies to paramount, and it was a difficult time because the movies weren't getting made they were being bought, but man made frustrated me ultimately led to my making future from my own, bankrolling it with my colleagues money in my leftover miami I nice. I am
that was a very satisfying experience for me, making that film I and it certainly the london film first and they should No no coward, but she is funny Do you ever wonder whether a comment like that again was a reflection of the times and gender death through to me. When did life start getting so complicated, buying a home, complicated home finances, certainly not a walk in the park. Raising kids, she hath it's a lot, then there's insurance. What if my policy doesn't cover this or what? If I have to make a claim in the middle of the night, good news
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as you are rebuilding it seems like you are also expanding our scope right now. At this point, it's not purely a focus on writing for magazines or journalism's. It's not for your print you're. Also writing for screen and in in place, and please and becomes more theatrical writing as well. Musicals us at some point enter the pictures yes, that's true tell me where the the so no for those who have heard your name and circulate the public domain these days and probably for the last twenty five years. They very likely heard it for the first time, in conjunction with this incredible book, the artist's way, which is eventually cursor, quotes officially published by torture, paraguay in ninety two, what you're working on that and what goes into it and the ideas and the exercises it sounds like for years before me.
beginning seeds of that starts to unfold. We're like this is where it comes back to. I come from a big family because in my family. We would learn something and then We turn around and teacher to a sibling. As I was getting sober, I was learning to write sober, how to be fulfilled creatively, it rather blocked, and, as I would learn a new trick, I would turn around. then teach it so I began teaching, probably by nineteen eighty. So I heard about ten years of teaching experience before I wrote the book I and I wrote the book
thinking I was writing it for a handful of people. I am, of course, it's gone. Two millions now there because the sugar centrally work shopping, the ideas testing them out, reminding them for a decade right with primary, with writers or javelin people in different creative domains, different creative domains, and did you find it even from the earliest days that even the note, the individual action eyes and ideas were broadly relevant across so many different areas. Well, I found- did my classes started and blocking and I was very exciting- saw heavy fantasy. That has become a real.
body, which was I fancied myself sort of a creative cartographer mapping out the trail I and turned out that's what I was doing. I love that on its own a lot of these things initially. Also there were things at your turn if they have just for you. like sort of like, as you turn the page to this new way of approaching our creative life and move through whatever things were, stopping you from being able to create on the level that you want to create it with is accurate, that a lot of this really started as a so. I need to create some idea some exercise and tools for me, then he said we share these and see what happens the tackled accurate attack. What was it about in the earliest days, even because there are so many people who teach different elements have created.
Even within writing. There are so many different points of entry that you could have. Sir said: here's where I'm going to focus? What was it about this idea of blocking and unblocking that led you to say this is where I want to focus. This is where I want to step into this arena. I don't think it was conscious am I think it was I've found things have worked and I was eager to share them and later on I was told: oh, you teach creative unblock in another. I guess I do so. Did you even coin it that in the beginning now I think that. I have benefited from being named by others. You know Like two people say to me: will you
started a movement and then I started to move tat looks like I did yeah which actually the thing they just flashed into my hand, which is kind of out of le field, but I'm curious now You mentioned where we started talking that your dad workin the enron. He was a copywriter azure moving through all of this. How much of it will you actually sharing with both your dad and your mom? Who is a writer and a teacher both the the dark names and then, as you emerged, the light times in their ideas were coming out of it. Well, they were when I got so they hit I understood that I was in trouble, but they didn't know the name of the trouble I knew I was dramatic.
And I was unhappy and named suddenly began to be Sonny you, and they were very grateful for that, and I think. My mother died seventy nine, so she did witness serious way my father witnessed it and was pleased and was like?
You're doing the family proud how to make you feel to hear and to know that he witnessed it and and felt that way about it. Wonderful, wonderful! I adored my father yeah when you first tell me if this is true- and this is what I serve Unfolded in a little bit of exploration, did you originally effectively self published? He has his way as photocopied just snaefell. combinations, yes telling them to eleanor. The earnest sway began because I fell in love with mark brian, who is a black trader I started writing essays at him thinking what a surprise.
we need to know next, he was so pushy anna side. I wrote the book at him and he said it should be a book. It could help alot of people. And I thought well easy for him to say, but then we began gideon requests who would be like I'm with the state department engine, However, I hear you have a passenger script. I and the word of mouth through the creation, spirituality network, through the young europeans with zero. today the little communist bookstore. Mark would pull the lever and cut the pages. I only shoulder twenty dollars, a coffee which was what it cost us to make them
is more than the book actually cost when it was published. Where do people were people finding it in an hour? How did the word start to get around? Will we were lucky there, was a union named germany who was teaching all over country he was at the height of his career and everywhere he would teach. He would talk about my book. solely began? Getting requests I and then the crew asian spirituality network people, Matthew axis people discovered it. They began asking for it. So we probably hold a thousand books just by word of mouth, then of the south published nearly doing it yourself at the third a copy s
when and how does a major publisher come to you then and say hey? This is interesting well what happened. Was I had a literary agent who suddenly said to me? I can't rapid and you. I represent Natalie goldberger new workers to similar, and I said I don't think Natalie would think so and they said well we're very sorry, sir. I was heart broken I admire meanwhile, had gotten the name of another literary agents. He was quite an entrepreneur. I am I said I can't call her. He said I'll call her, so he called her up. Susan shown, I am told her eye? There's this wonderful book, its own blocking people. Would you like to look at it
Susan said every here at christmas I got a good book. This year, a chores, so we centre the black. and waited on pins and needles, and then she called me consent, I'd like to represent you, and I think it should go to torture and that's how we came to torture. you end up after a decade of developing these ideas of actually teaching them to people in workshops and refining them and then spinning a year or so photocopying and surly, putting together your own and your like self published versions of these in a deal with a major publisher. Did they when you, when you partnered up with torture and. Were they completely sold. Where did they look at this and say this is gonna, be huge or no, I said this is a modest little california boy. We
going to happen, to publish and we'll prince Seven thousand nobler man, that's a stretch and then the book took off. Did it take off right away? Yes,. and where are you surprised by that? Well, I felt like the book was needed should didn't become a of surprise. It became a question of satisfaction this. An interesting theme that has kind of come up a few times in our conversation now, where I've ass, to where he surprised that somehow other people recognised your value and you say no, not surprised. I knew it do feel like that in a validation that, knowing that you do have something
really unique and of value is unusual. I wish more people had it and I actually think that's one of the gifts of the artist's way I have when people work with the tools they gain self worth and when they gain so forth, they gain self belief and when they gain self belief, they gain success. And let him at land how it feels really true, one of the things that sam Was in the areas where I think, if you ask a lot of people well, what is it? association with this incredible barking like what. What is it that one of the major things you took out of it? My sense? Is that you're, one of the central things is this idea of something you call morning pages. Can you share a bit more about what those are and how they work? They'd, be delighted morning pages are the pivotal tool
creative and blocking their three pages of long hand morning, writing about it Thirdly, anything so you might write, I forgot to call my sister rack. I didn't buy kitty letter didn't like health fred talk to me in the reading yesterday I packed they sort of angry. I end you, you write down. Your mood of the moment and you keep your hand moving across the page, and you put done anything and everything that occurs to you. It's a little, it's a little like meditation. Ah, I call it meditation. You were, you sit inquired, and then you have what we call a cloud thought. Something comes cruising
crush you consciousness, that you hadn't thought of, and that's what happened this morning pages. But you write your card that's down and what happens is that you're urged into action they may be taken? three times saying to you. I think you should try this in your city, oh no, I couldn't, and then you think, oh maybe I could, and then you do so. They move you from blocked to decisive. Hmm, it's interesting. I have. I was talking to a number of friends recently who have all done this exercise and the response was very different from each of them. It seems like there's a on the one hand, people who started from day, one-
they were just as they were in you know. It was three pages they would bring it out, they wouldn't edit. They would know what where it was. I wouldn't judge what was coming out. They understood that this it was literally just about letting the pen lead young, letting it move through you more than anything else and then other sort of on the other side of the spectrum really struggling to get into this practice. Judging themselves, along the way, or even if they didn't george themselves along the way or try and craft these three pages, rather than just letting them surly pour out this struggle. They just they said this struggled to sit every day and just let these three pages pour out of them and after a week or so just gave up because he said it was to quote hard, I'm guest.
that, with all the people that you ve taught over the years, you ve seen both of those variations many times over when somebody comes to you with sort of like that, latter condition. What's the what's the insight they offer them or the questions you might ask them. Why do you expect to be easy? The sometimes that several difficult I worth doing. Why not take the risk that this difficult thing is worth your time, so it's in no small part then about resetting expectations. I don't
tried to sell my ideas very much. I feel like they sell themselves and I feel like if someone is not wanting to do pages, I let them not two pages, but if somebody is delighted to pages, I am delighted Have I wonder to certain extent it's also a matter of what hurts worse, the pain of being stuck or the frustration of mourning pages not coming easily is probably too One of the other things that can come up often is this idea of the artist date. Tell me more about this. Well, I say to you: I have a terrible tool. It takes a lot of work,
I have to give up an hour later. You'll have to go to the page. Yours experience, resistance, they'll, say fine I'll! Do it because we understand working on our creativity, we have worked out back and we feel that it so of veiled thing to try and work If I say I have another tool for you, I'd like you to go out once a week and play all of a sudden resist since comes flying up, and there like play, I dont see what good play can do for our creativity and I say: will we have the expression, the play of ideas, but we don't take it literally I and realise that
The creates ideas, so I want you to go out once a week and do something festive something that you just find enchanting and enjoyable, something that your inner eight year old likes like maybe go to a pet store and pet, a bunny, something really simple, something not like taking another peter class. We could all use a little more than one other thing thereon ask you out is The notion of a sense.
If you ask people to reflect on the shortest way and you're, actually pretty astonishing body of work ring, I think over thirty books, music halls, please so many different things. But if you look it up to relate this bigger body of work around the artists way, an What jean raw does this fall? Under my senses? You get as many people offering spirituality or personal growth, as you would creativity Is that your sense too, and was it in and if so, is there an intention behind then there's no intention and when I have people say to me, is always the same sentence. They say you watch changed my life, so it's all so as well
Sit here- and this conversation- and the name of of this is good life project. If I offer out the phrase to live a good life, what comes up To live a spiritual fulfils life to feel connected to a benevolent something that intense us great good and that I think the gift of the artist sway Thank you. Thank you. So much for listening and thanks also to our fantastic sponsored who helped make this shell possible. You can check them out in the links we have included in today's units and while you're at it. If you ve ever ask yourself what shall I do with my life? We have created a really cool online assessment that will help you to. Over the source code for the work that you're here to do you. Can
I find it at spark: a type dot com. That's s, p, a r K, e t, Y p e dot com board, just click, the link in the show notes and, of course, if you haven't already done so be sure to click on the subscribe button in your listening app. So you never miss an episode and then share share the love. If there's something that you've heard in this episode, that you would love to turn into a conversation, share it with people and have. that conversation, because when ideas become conversations that lead to action, that's when real change takes hold, see you next time, the.
Transcript generated on 2023-06-26.