A Creative Memoir
by Julia Cameron
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Pub Date 08 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 22 Aug 2023
St. Martin's Press, St. Martin's Essentials
Floor Sample is a memoir from the Queen of Creativity, Julia Cameron…
Julia Cameron has transformed the creative lives of millions, showing them that creativity is their uniquely human birthright. But long before the tools of The Artist’s Way changed the conversation around creativity, Julia developed and used them in her own life.
Floor Sample is the story behind an artistic life—detailing Julia's years in New York, her time as a writer for Rolling Stone, her turbulent marriage to Martin Scorsese, and her painful struggle with alcohol, which ultimately led her to recovery and the methods that would form the backbone of The Artist’s Way.
The life Julia shares in her memoir is tempestuous, flitting restlessly across the country, falling in and out of love, wrestling with alcohol and mental health, but through all of it, always, her art was a fixed point and north star. Featuring a brand new prologue from the author, Floor Sample is honest and unapologetic, a glimpse into the heart and mind behind The Artist’s Way.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 26 members
This memoir by Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist's Way, is a must-read for those who follow her teachings and practices of creativity. She tells all - her marriage to Martin Scorsese, her alcoholism, subsequent loves, parenting her daughter - all is there, spilled out with no holds barred.
In all this messiness, she always shows how she gradually, over a period of years, developed The Artist's Way book and other works that have made such an impact on so many people over the last several decades. I was truly inspired to see that even though things looked really, really bad for Ms. Cameron on many occasions, she still managed to publish some tremendously meaningful works.
Those who faithfully write their 3 Morning Pages Daily and enjoy their weekly Artist's Date will want to read this book. Highly recommended!
This book! Beautiful! Stunning! Loved loved loved it!
I have read Julia’s The Artist Way series, but lost my own creativity along the way. This book may have just brought it back.
Julia shares her life in this breathtaking memoir. Through these pages she gives us details of her life, her struggles, doubts, her alcoholism and how she overcame it, and so much more. It was like talking a walk with her, listening to her share her real-life story, or even living it along side her. It was such an inspiration to read.
I couldn’t put it down. I can’t say enough about it. I could probably write 3 “morning pages” about how wonderful this book was. Deep textures of her life told in brilliant story-telling. Thank you for allowing me to read an advanced copy. Highly recommended, and something I will read again and again.
Julia Cameron is a brilliant human. Getting a look into her life was an honor. The only thing I knew of her were things pertaining to the Artist's Way. A book I have lost count of how many copies I've given away. I personally love biographies/ memoirs, but I love them so much more when it's somebody that I am a fan of.
I'm a big fan of Cameron and was happy to receive an ARC from NetGalley for the purpose of this review. I'm giving the book five stars. It was interesting to read a memoir versus an instructional writing guide from Cameron. Memoirs are probably my favorite genre and this was beautifully crafted.
Beautifully written, SO interesting - this memoir is a captivating treat from start to finish. I appreciate Cameron’s candor, particularly as she describes the constant tension she feels between her desire for a private life in which to make her art and the financial realities that constantly pull her into the public sphere to teach & inspire others. She’s also very candid about her mental health struggles, and the challenge of balancing family relationships while building a body of creative work. It’s all in here, in a form and style that kept me turning pages. Highly recommend for anyone who enjoys memoirs.
Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book.
A truly interesting back story of a fascinating life. I had no idea the life that Julia Cameron has lived and found this memoir so intriguing.
Julia Cameron has written a fantastic memoir ,the author of the instructional guide the Artists Way she now shares her most intimate moments.From her alcoholism her marriage to the director Scorsese and so much more.I was drawn in by this talented author and enjoyed from first to last page.#netgalley #st.martins
Julian Cameron has helped change many lives for the better with her book, "The Artist's Way," and her other books on how to tap into your own deep well of creativity. Now she is telling the story of how she changed her own life. As her title suggests, she is the "Floor Sample" of her own teachings, meaning that everything she has taught, she too has tried and used on herself. After struggling in her own life--with mental illness, alcoholism, two marriages that ended in divorce, loneliness and single parenthood--she turned to creativity as her higher power, implementing her routines, structures and pep talks to lift herself, and others, up. From her earliest years, she not only wanted to express herself, but to serve others, teaching others as she and her many siblings taught each other when she was growing up. This book reads as both a fascinating chronicle of a life lived to the hilt and as a creative manual. Cameron chronicles her early years as a college student at Georgetown, then as a successful journalist for Rolling Stone magazine, among others, a marriage and creative collaboration with famous director and filmmaker Martin Scorsese, and anecdotes about her life as part of the creative sets in Hollywood, New York and New Mexico. She's a self admitted eccentric, moving constantly with her young daughter from Washington, D.C. to Chicago to New Mexico to Los Angeles to New York and then to London and back and forth to teach workshops, to lecture and to write plays, screenplays, musicals, novels, and poems. I couldn't stop reading this book, which was mostly riveting. Sometimes, i got frustrated by the lack of dates (she only supplies dates and the age of her daughter sparsely). Also, her childhood is only briefly sketched and hinted at, which is probably fine since she has so much material to get through. The only other nitpick I have: At first, I was put off by the cover. Why was there a dressmaker's dummy, when that had nothing to do with her many careers? I wondered if she had another career stint as a designer. I understand why she chose the title, as she feels she is the test case, or Floor Sample, for all that she teachers, but I'm still wondering: is this the best possible cover for this amazing woman's memoir? For some reason, my imagination conjured a bird, singing somewhere on the cover. A great read that swept me along.
Floor Sample by Julia Cameron is a searingly honest memoir by the author of The Artist's Way. And wow-this book will stay with me for a very, very long time. It's not just inspiring or interesting, though it is absolutely both of those things. It's also thought provoking and emotionally excavating. Not sure if that last one makes sense, but it's the best way I can describe it. I found myself putting the ebook down just to think about what was on the page, and now that I've read it all, I'm still thinking about the author and her process and her life. A truly incredible book.
Absolutely fascinating, well written, and disturbing. I can't say I enjoyed reading this but I kept coming back. I couldn't stay away. I wanted to see what she did next. There were a lot of nexts, too, as she seemed to flit from place to place, person to person, and genre to genre...mastering most of the last. As for the rest, uh, not so much.
I won't detail Cameron's life here as it's not only well-documented but others will have surely done so. Cameron, now well into her 70s, wrote this book when she was 57. She had a childhood full of horses, books, and freedom, but often dominated by "God says..." guilt and guilt trips. She lived close to the edge and, sadly, went over the edge. It's those times that make this a disturbing read as you're taken inside her drugged out or sedated by alcohol mind. In a sense, she was held hostage by not just her mind but her talent, which she has used in various venues, ranging from books like this to movies and theater. Recalling the scene where she details running out of the house in a panic naked, with an aide having to chase her down and cover her with a sheet, will horrify and astonish readers, who'll immediately feel either sympathy or horror. Honestly, Maybe both.
Yes, reading this left me exhausted and disturbed. I found myself breaking down my reading stints into smaller segments, some at obvious breaks, others because, quite frankly, what I was reading left me so unsettled. Yet, she was painting a vivid picture of her life, which included not just growing up in the free spirited hippy age but name-drops famous names who dropped in and out of her life in a fascinating way. Some, like the father of her daughter, former husband Martin Scorsese, who was making Taxi Driver when they married, left, but many mentors and even former addicts were devoted to helping her defeat her demons. She drew people to her, yes, but she also drove them away.
Bottom line, as noted, not an easy read but one well worth making...even if you have to divide reading sessions up. As a former horse crazy girl, now dog person, I had to admire her devotion to her beloved animals. Even when her demons forced her to move and more again and again, her animals were always a priority. That tells me lots about her inner core, her true being. The Julia Cameron that I (and so many others) thought we knew and admired from her The Right to Write, is in there amidst all the chaos. It took nerve to write this book, which I admire. I'm not sure I could be so open and brave. Thank you #NetGalley and #StMartin'sPress - #StMartin'sEssentials for allowing me this look into the real Julia Cameron. It's definitely a book that will stay with me for a long time.