S&H sits down with Julia Cameron to discuss aging, art, and creativity.
1. Why do you think people assume “it’s too late” to get creative in midlife?
Ours is a youth-oriented culture. Our media perpetuates this myth. Magazines glorify the exploits and the monetary gains of young people. As F. Scott Fitzgerald remarked, “There are no second acts in American lives.”
2. An “artist date” is your idea of assigned play. What is an artist date in your world?
I love to go to the movies alone. I like being able to focus on the film without taking anyone else’s reactions into account. I also like visiting Santa Fe’s Canyon Road, which has over 100 galleries. I may poke into only three or four, but I am always engaged and fascinated by the range of work shown.
3. What is it about walking that makes it so vital to the creative process for you?
Walking focuses us squarely into the present. It also allows us to integrate the insights we have received from the other tools, Morning Pages, Artist Dates, and Memoir.
4. How does spirituality play a role in tapping into creativity?
Morning Pages are a potent form of prayer and meditation. They put us in touch with a larger, benevolent “something.” I have often heard them described as being a “portal to faith.” When we work on our creativity, our spirituality deepens. When we work on our spirituality, our creativity deepens.
5. You are an accomplished writer and artist. Do you still have new aspirations?
I would love to see my plays and musicals more widely produced. I have a friend who insists that I am “really” a playwright, no matter how many books I have written.
In her new book, It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond, best-selling author Julia Cameron offers tools and inspiration to wake up the artist in all of us.