The Sound of Paper: Starting from Scratch – Julia Cameron (2005)
Julia Cameron is an American writer and teacher who is most famous for her 1992 book, The Artist’s Way, a legendary twelve week, self-paced nonfiction book that will inspire creativity and spirituality. The book is for the open-minded reader and cultivates an immersion into writing and nature. Cameron’s most recent work in her extremely prolific career is called, The Artist’s Way for Parents: Raising Creative Children (2013). I have read many of her books and am currently devouring, The Sound of Paper: Starting from Scratch (2005). I have had a busy summer and wish I had many more hours to devote to this amazing book. This nonfiction, personal narrative is beautifully and thoughtfully written, with exercises at the end of each of chapter for enhancing a sense of creativity and exploration that many of us have lost in our vigorous pursuit of work and productivity. Cameron’s books assist in helping the reader slow down and she uses writing as a meditation tool that will positively influence all endeavors of readers' lives. Her work will have a profound effect on your own life if you follow her plan.
Cameron’s books are meant to assist in the internal awareness of an individual and help us explore the spiritual nature of our existence. In my review, I ask all readers to be open and read her ideas with a kind heart. There are exercises that require some inner work and they are magnificent for personal growth. Ms. Cameron writes that we ourselves are all creations and therefore, our creativity stems from inspiration – the Latin word for “spirit.”
In The Artist’s Way and many of Cameron’s works she follows an interesting formula: 1. The Morning Pages: set your clock for thirty minutes earlier than normal each day and write three pages in a journal or spiral notebook (it must be longhand and no computer is permitted; you can get a cup of coffee, but this writing is meant for the moment you wake). The pages might not be “real” prose but anything you wish to write. It is meant for clearing mental clutter and having an intimate conversation with yourself. You will eventually gain some real insights about yourself from the pages and see growth in your life. 2. The Artist’s Date: Set a few minutes to an hour each week to explore something that interests you: examples - a museum, fabric store, nature trail, art store, the Goodwill, a bookstore, etc. – follow your heart and just get lost somewhere for ten minutes to an hour. Cameron says, “Think pleasure not duty.” 3. Walk – get outside and walk if only for ten minutes a week. Be with nature. The best scenario is to walk or run every day for thirty minutes to an hour. This formula is so very simple and takes a bit of discipline but the rewards are amazing.
In The Sound of Paper, Cameron shares her experiences and stories regarding living a creative life. She often reverts to her magical formula and describes that we all have a creative side (everyday, we unconsciously make many creative choices in our lives). The author and some of my most interesting friends have been doing the pages for over twenty years. I have been doing the pages, artist’s dates, and running in outside for the last seven months and recommend Cameron’s formula for all who read this post! I hope this writing will generate some creativity in my readers; it truly benefits everyone when we create.
Cameron quotes author, Henry Miller, : Develop an interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls, and interesting people. Forget yourself…. (55). Enjoy the journey and this amazing book!