Reading Material/The Sound of Paper by Julia Cameron

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Made up of personal essays and exercises, The Sound of Paper is a journey right into the heart of the struggles all artists encounter. Cameron encourages us to explore the contents of our soul in order to uncover the inspiration we require to create. Cameron is a glorious, informative, illuminating writer, who has the ability to stop you in your tracks, and examine where it is you have been, where it is you are now, and where it is that you are going. There is an honesty in Cameron’s writing which I greatly appreciate. An honesty which had me putting down the book and saying to myself ‘right, we need to sort this out now, Katie.’ Rich with inspiring quotes and passages, it would be impossible to put here everything that touched or motivated me. I won’t put down stuff that made me fawn, but instead a couple of quotes that made me sit up and examine my creative self.

When a piece of work is going well, we need to take special care of our creative stores.

Art impregnates us. We carry its new life. Walking or sleeping. A project is not finished until it is born, and it is born on its own schedule, not our own.

When we are in a creative drought, we, too, need caution. We are dangerous to ourselves and others, time bombs looking for the opportunity to explode. Our nerves are hair-trigger. Small things annoy us. Small issues loom large as we blow things out of proportion. The big drama is that we are not working, but that drama is so painful that a thousand little dramas take its place.

Cameron encourages us to take note of the little, daily accomplishments such as folding the laundry, as well as completing our Morning Pages. (Three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing.)

Though I found parts of this book deeply inspiring, just before I hit the mid-way point I started to find much of it repetitive and tiresome. Cameron repeatedly talks about somewhat dull happenings in New Mexico, and the majority of the essays have a mention of the ‘good lord,’ which sadly made me start to want to skip entire sections. I did finish The Sound of Paper in its entirety, but the last half of the book was mostly a rough, dragging journey.

If you feel you are lacking inspiration, and are currently at war with your creative side, I recommend you pick this up. There is enough good stuff in it to make it a worthwhile read.

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