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It's Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond (Artist's Way) Paperback – April 19, 2016
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Julia Cameron has inspired millions with her bestseller on creativity, The Artist’s Way. In It’s Never Too Late To Begin Again, she turns her eye to a segment of the population that, ironically, while they have more time to be creative, are often reluctant or intimidated by the creative process. Cameron shows readers that retirement can, in fact, be the most rich, fulfilling, and creative time of their lives.
When someone retires, the newfound freedom can be quite exciting, but also daunting. The life that someone had has changed, and the life to come is yet to be defined. In this book, Cameron shows readers how cultivating their creative selves can help them navigate this new terrain. She tells the inspiring stories of retirees who discovered new artistic pursuits and passions that more than filled their days—they nurtured their souls.
This twelve-week course aimed at defining—and creating—the life you want to have as you redefine and re-create yourself, this book includes simple tools that will guide and inspire you to make the most of this time in your life:
- Memoir writing offers an opportunity to reflect on and honor past experience. This book guides you through the daunting task of writing an entire memoir, breaking it down into manageable pieces.
- Morning Pages—private, stream-of-consciousness writing done daily—allow you to express wishes, fears, delights, resentments, and joys, which in turn, provide focus and clarity for the day at hand.
- Artist Dates encourage fun and spontaneity.
- Solo Walks quell anxiety and clear the mind.
This fun, gentle, step-by-step process will help you explore your creative dreams, wishes, and desires...and help you quickly find that it’s never too late to begin again.
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Praise for The Artist's Way:
"If you have always wanted to pursue a creative dream, have always wanted to play and create with words or paints, this book will gently get you started and help you learn all kinds of paying-attention techniques; and that, after all, is what being an artist is all about. It's about learning to pay attention."
About the Author
Emma Lively is a classical violist turned writer, composer, and lyricist working in musical theater and animation. She has served as Julia Cameron’s business manager for a decade.
- Publisher : TarcherPerigee (April 19, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399174214
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399174216
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 7.33 x 0.71 x 9.09 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #16,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I agree with the many reviewers who've written that this book is "not about midlife." While many reviewers quite rightly note that this book cleaves to Ms. Cameron's _The Artist's Way_ so closely that there is little room for the author to delve into the promise of the book's subtitle -- "Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond" -- I was just as troubled to find that the "midlife" content promised in the title is all but nonexistent in the book.
To amplify, despite the book's title, it does little to explore "midlife" -- i.e. the period that U.S. medical authorities and government agencies alike place between about age 45 and age 60 or 61 -- and instead focuses so completely on folks in their 60s and up that the inclusion of "midlife" in the book's title is downright baffling.
When I purchased the book, I understood -- and welcomed -- the fact that the book was going to be especially germane to seniors, retirees chief among them. However, the book's title also led me to believe that folks in true "midlife" would find themselves represented in the book's pages too -- albeit to a lesser extent than retirees and seniors. Instead, when the book arrived yesterday, I discovered that folks within this true "midlife" demographic are scarcely mentioned in the book.
This is a bummer -- especially since wide swaths of the true "midlife" demographic are especially ripe for Ms. Cameron's attention. For example, as economists and sociologists have noted, folks who are now in their mid- to late-50s are one of the U.S. demographics that were hardest hit by the 2008-2009 economic downturn. Such exigency has forced many of these folks to reinvent themselves professionally and personally at a time in their lives when they thought they'd be enjoying a career pinnacle and/or planning for imminent retirement. Faced with age discrimination in hiring at the same time, many of these folks have become entrepreneurs or otherwise thought outside the box about employment. Given that such reinvention and adaptation are right in Ms. Cameron's wheelhouse, folks within the 50 to 59 portion of the aforementioned "midlife" curve could have added much to the book's case studies. Instead, folks in their 50s are almost wholly absent from the book.
Similarly, folks in their mid- to late-40s -- i.e. the time in which folks enter into true "midlife" in earnest -- often find that either inner changes or the practical realities of job transitions, empty nests, etc. prompt the very sort of re-evaluation and re-calibration that Ms. Cameron wrote her book to acknowledge and assist. Yet -- much like their brothers and sisters in the 50-59 demographic -- folks in their mid- to late-40s are all but invisible in this book.
A book in which Ms. Cameron applies the lessons and strategies of her _The Artist's Way_ to seniors is a focus that I applaud. Alas, Ms. Cameron muddies the waters by foregrounding "midlife" in her title so prominently that prospective buyers might reasonably expect the book to give at least cursory attention to folks in true "midlife" as medicine and government define it.
If I were a senior/retiree (I'm 45), the author's seeming reluctance to use the words "seniors" and/or "retirees" in the book's title would give me pause. If the final decades of one's life ("seniors") and/or one's retirement ("retirees") can comprise one's most creative and fulfilling life chapter -- as I believe and as Ms. Cameron purports to believe -- then why not include "seniors" and/or "retirees" in the book's title instead of foregrounding a younger, "midlife" demographic that comprises not even a fraction of the book's true focus? Strange.
In this book, creativity is the path which leads you to your next stage. This is a 12-week course in cultivating your creativity to create a more inspired and authentic life which reflects what is meaningful and joyful for you. Although I've read many of Julia Cameron's books, including her Artists Way and sequels, this book hits just right for midlife or retirement and is a refresher course with new wisdom and perspective.
You can spend a week on each chapter doing the exercises, and it will ignite new thought. Upon reading it, already I checked out universities to see about getting a master's degree - or maybe even a doctorate - in a subject which fascinates me. I looked at my local continuing ed for dance and art classes. I'm buying a new Journal for Morning Pages and brainstorming possible Artist Dates.
The 12-week summer might be a great time to do this course, or fall when school is in the air, or January when you're thinking about doing something different in the New Year.
Cameron writes her purpose for this book is to give readers a set of tools to "trigger creative rebirth". Cameron reminds us that Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote her first children's book "Little House in the Big Woods" when she was 64. Many more books followed.
Some of the wisdom gleaned from this book:
* You shake the apple tree and the universe delivers oranges.
* As we open our creative channel to the Creator many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.
* Your life is lived by tiny changes.
* The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.
* Our creative dreams and yearning come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.
To give you a sense of topics covered in the book, some of the chapter headings include "Reigniting a Sense of: Wonder, Connection, Purpose, Honesty, Humility, Resilience, Joy, Motion, Vitality, Adventure and Faith".
This book teaches the creative principles to bring these more into your life through activities, questions to ponder and answer, wisdom and examples of others. Who doesn't want more joy, motion, purpose, faith, connection and adventure?
This book helps you design your own creative course for yourself - almost like a summer camp or university experience. What do you want to learn about or explore that is tugging at you? This book inspires you to begin again
and seek it out.
Top reviews from other countries
So I am grateful for this new book with similar ideas and encouragement. The daily writing sometimes seems pointless and then there's an insight -WOW! The consistency and routine are important - but don't be dragged into fulfilling everything. Do what is best for you. I'm very happy to have this new book at this time. If you need a pick-me-up - you will find none better. It's Never Too Late!