Julia Cameron on ‘Real’ Writers

Earlier this week my Amazon shipment arrived including The Right To Write: An Invitation and Initiation Into The Writing Life by Julia Cameron. I haven’t had a chance to delve deeply into the book (and many of the tools described are quite similar to solutions offered in The Artist’s Way), however I wanted to share an extract here since it follows on so nicely from this week’s Creative Concepts podcast.

Julia Cameron:

When people undertake writing, it is often not with the agenda of writing but with the agenda of “becoming a writer.” We have an incredible amount of mystery, mystique, and pure bunk around exactly what the phrase means.

The bottom line, the fact that the act of writing makes you a writer, barely enters the equation at all. Instead, we come up with ideas like “Real writers are published,” or “Real writers make a living from their writing.” In a sense, we are saying, “Real writers get validation from others that they are writers. They have apeared in _________. They have received quotes from ________.”

With mythology like this, with a product-not-process orientation like this, is it any wonder that the aspiring writer is seized by anxiety? Even those gifted with a silver tongue doubt that they are gifted with a silver pen. The blank page strikes them like a blank check where they may be asked to fill in an amount larger than the talent they feel they possess.

The act of writing makes you a writer. So go write.

2 comments… add one
  • yes, and tell your story. if you want to write memoir, get it all down on paper. don’t worry how messy it is or clumsy or about anybody else reading or about hurting anybody’s feelings. just write it for yourself–for now. (this is advice i’m giving myself as i try to write my own memoir, but i think it works for any kind of writing. wanna be a writer? then write. and blogging absolutely counts in my book.

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