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4 Tips for More Inspiration and Creativity

4 Tips for More Inspiration and Creativity

Julia Cameron, now age 72, once hit creative rock bottom, but she got back up again and the book she wrote about the experience, “The Artist’s Way,” was a world-wide best -seller. Journalist Catelijne Elzes interviewed her after attending one of her workshops. 

Tremendous Success

It has been 25 years since Julia Cameron wrote her groundbreaking book on creativity, The Artist Way. It was kind of random: Someone suggested that she share the tools that had helped her out of her creative void. The book became a tremendous success. The Artist’s Way has been translated into more than 35 languages and sold over four million copies. Accross the world, people take courses in her method, now simply known as The Artist’s Way. Perhaps most importantly, thanks to Julia Cameron, people wake up every day from “creative hibernation,” however deep, and some of them even change their whole lives.

Moving Past a Blockage

The author Elizabeth Gilbert says that Eat, Pray, Love would never have been written without The Artist’s Way. Glamour magazine photographer Helmut Newton, Who guitarist Pete Townshend, and singer Alicia Keys all attribute some of their success to Julia. The title of the book makes it seem like it’s aimed at official artists only, but nothing could be further from the truth. Julia herself does not believe in that distinction. “We, all of us, have a creative spark,” she says. “We express it in different ways. Some are creative housewives, others use their spark to make a living.” However, Julia is also convinced that we all suffer from a creative blockage to some extend. Maybe somebody said something negative about something you made; maybe your parents had a certain opinion on creative professions; or maybe you criticize yourself too harshly.

“A lot of artists have an inner critic, me included,” she says. ” I call mine Nigel and I picture him as a severe British interior designer. When I make a work of art, Nigel will start to cry, ‘It’s too boring, too childish, too afwul.’ These days I tell him, ‘Nigel, thank you for sharing,’ and I keep working.” How can you tell where yo might be blocked? According to Julia, envy is a clear sign. “It’s when you look at somebody else’s creative work and you think: I want to do that too, or: I can do that better,” she says. “It’s frustrating, but keep the faith. Anyone can liberate their inner artist.”

4 Tips for More Inspiration

  1. Take a shower. Albert Einstein once asked himself why he got his best ideas in the shower. Thanks to brain research, today we know that regular, repetitive activities get our logical brain to switch to our more creative, more artistic brain. Swimming, driving and slicing vegetables are the kind of activities that get your inspiration to flow again.
  2. Do something nice for yourself at least once a day. Pampering yourself a little makes your heart lighter, and that makes you more productive.
  3. Stop reading for a week, except when you have to work. Do;t read anything apart from that, not even Facebook or Instagram. “If we limit the inflow to the barest minimum, we’ll be rewarded with new outflow,” says Cameron.
  4. Do some time-travelling. Write a letter from you as an 80-year-old to the person you are now. What would you tell yourself? What would you advise yourself to aim for? When write yourself a letter from you as an eight-year-old. What were your favorite things? What is her opinion of who you are now?

This is an edited fragment from Happinez “Feel the Sun” (issue 22 – 2020). Do you want to read the full interview with Julia Cameron? You can find the issue in our shop!

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