Gosh. I kind of expected this to be at least mildly heartwarming but it was just kind of ridiculously lame. I sort of feel bad for saying that – like I’m betraying something by admitting that I didn’t like it and just asking for karma to kick my ass. Perhaps the advice is so outdated now that it just seems obvious, but that idea doesn’t really help. It is simply a list of a whole bunch of rather “duh” advice that doesn’t take much of a genius to conclude coupled with a bunch of illustrations of elves. The illustrations are cute though. And in black & white. I’m kind of considering grabbing my pencil crayons and colouring them in… Otherwise the book is pretty small so it would make a great coaster!
If you ever wished there was a - dare i say “fail-proof” – 12 step programme for blocked writers you have found one. Julia Cameron’s book gently coaxes even the shyest of writers out of the comfort zone of their blockages and challenges them to start seeing things, to question everything, and to slowly become un-stuck. I have done this book (because doing it is very different from merely reading it) from start to finish once. I plan to do it again.
Please do not imagine though that this unblocking is in ANY way a pleasant experience. The first two or three chapters get you into a smug high where you’re kind of woo-hoo happy about the impending brilliance you are about to unleash on the world. Your unblocking will without a doubt be the best thing that has EVER happened. And yes, of course it is….but….continue at your own peril. The tears will come eventually, as you dig through your life and learn more than you bargained for. Commit yourself to the entire 12 steps and yes you will emerge as a newly cleansed, and freshly detoxed artist. But you have to take yourself seriously, and commit to it, do ALL 12 steps, because I think there’s a possibility that stopping in the middle might leave you more blocked than you were before….
Why I give it ten stars: This book is incredibly user friendly and really is something absolutely anyone can use for anything. I reccomend it wholeheartedly.
I am loathe to write this review. How impossible to translate into words the blissful experience that is Elizabeth Gilbert. Honestly I don’t have an Oprah book club membership. And I’m very much not always so in the loop with what the rest of the world is reading. In school I was always the kid who got into a song after everyone else stopped listening to it. My grown up world differs only in that I don’t really care about getting it right anymore. I decided to read Eat, Pray, Love after seeing a TedEx talk that Elizabeth Gilbert did. A fellow writer sent me the link thinking I might find her inspiring. She entranced me completely. Here was this beautiful creature and I swear to God she was speaking straight into my soul. And so I picked up her book over the December holidays and got completely lost in it. I laughed and cried and I sunk in to the deepest of depressions. I wish I could write like that. Because this book was the absolute embodiment of what I want MY writing to be. The naked honesty, the poignant truths, the humanity. Everything about it made me jealous as all hell. Elizabeth tells of her journey in search of physical and spiritual fulfillment in such a brave manner. Her experiences are something anyone would long for. From her relationship with food and wine in Italy to the spiritual awakening in India and falling in love in Indonesia, I couldn’t stop turning the pages At the risk of sounding redundant, it really is the kind of book that every woman should read. And every man should read it too, if for no other reason than to better understand women. It’s definitely a book I will re-read for many years to come.
Why I give it a ten: It’s an important book. And every woman should read it.