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New Book: Creativity in Life’s Second Half


In 1992, Julia Cameron published her first book, The Artist's Way. She was disappointed with the early reviews. She didn't need to be. Never out of print, the book has sold more two million copies.

Now Cameron is back with a new book (written with Emma Lively) It's Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond.

The foundations remain the same as those in The Artist's Way. First, Morning Pages – the ritual of writing down your thoughts first thing in the morning. These three pages are strictly stream-of-consciousness. They're meant to connect the reader to their inner creative self and provide focus for the day. Morning pages are written by hand and not for public consumption.

Second, Artist Dates: a weekly solo-expedition to explore something of interest. Artist dates are about self-nourishment. They are designed to delight, challenge and encourage spontaneity. Cameron dubs them "assigned play."

The author introduces a couple of new ideas. She emphasizes the importance of walking, urging readers to set aside 20 minutes twice a week to walk alone and without a phone. She describes walking as an exercise in receptivity that quells anxiety and allows creativity to bubble to the surface.

The Memoir is a weekly-tool designed to help readers uncover dimensions of their story they may have forgotten or put on hold. As Cameron writes, "Along the way, you will find dreams you wish to return to, ideas you're ready to discard, wounds you are ready to heal and, most of all, an appreciation for the life you have led."

Like The Artist's Way, the book's 12 chapters are organized into a 12-week program. In this book, the author focuses on finding meaning in the second half of life. She invites readers to embrace more expansive lives through mustering their creative resources.

Specifically, she encourages readers nearing retirement to nourish their creative selves through a series of themes, including wonder, connection, resilience, adventure and faith. Each chapter focuses on a specific theme and highlights stories of individuals pursuing, new classes, new projects and new adventures.

Readers, who have not read The Artist's Way, will find this new book brimming with riches. Fans, who have, will find Cameron, as always, a caring, insightful companion, encouraging them to take risks and to be a bit more open, patient and kinder to themselves.

The Vintage Years is an ideal reading companion to It's Never Too Late to Begin Again, offering portraits of 20 individuals who mustered their creative resources to become artists in their later years.