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low sugar levels
high insulin
time commitment
point in time
explorations
medical conditions
creative writing
five minutes
exercises
The Right To Write, By Julia Cameron
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This prime-the-pump type of book for writers who are struggling with one or more aspects of their writing has significant value as a tool during times of writing challenges.

The book consists of a series of unnumbered chapters which blend an examination by the author of some of the reasons writers experience some sort of writing block phenomenon and other aspects of moving into the creative writing experience, and her own personal philosophies pertaining to writing and writers.

Each of the chapters includes a writing exercise, or in a few instances some sort of exercise that feeds the well that allows a writer to write.

The exercises range from brief fill-in-the-blank kinds of exercises that some writer might be able to complete in five minutes or less to much lengthier sorts of explorations of the individual writer’s inner or outer environment. Most, however, fall into the range that corresponds with a time commitment similar to a typical journal entry.

Julia Cameron became widely known not only within the writing world but also among creative persons of note across a wide range of formats for that creativity with a previous book The Artists Way. The Artists Way enjoyed some popularity with certain musicians, for example.

I worked my way through most of The Artists Way at one point in time, which if I recall correctly was structured as a twelve week program. I found it interesting, but did not find it as effective as many other creative people who undertook the program found it to be.

I found certain elements of that program rather too formulaic and prescriptive. I also found that book rather too oblivious to the potential for elements of some people’s experiences to make some elements of the program unworkable in certain circumstances. For example, that program proposes writing several free-form pages first thing upon getting up in the morning: something that certain medical conditions such as diabetes with the potential for high-insulin, low-sugar levels in the morning simply do not safely admit.

There are vestiges of that rigidity relating to elements of The Artists Way’s key principles still in The Right To Write, which in a couple places mentions the two key elements of the other program of Morning Pages and of an Artist Date.

For the most part, however, The Right to Write is a much more free-flowing and fluid grouping of exercises that I think encourage the writer even more so than the other program.

In some areas, there is something to be said for following certain sequences of the chapters and their exercises in order: however, for the most part the writer can skip around in the book and pick and choose a chapter and exercise most likely to assist them in whatever sort of writing challenge a particular writer faces at that moment.

This is definitely a worthwhile book for writers to have around to help them prime the pump in times of writer’s block or when facing a challenge in starting a new work.


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