Harman Patil

The Right to Write

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Language  English
Media type  Print Paperback
ISBN  1-58542-009-3
Author  Julia Cameron
Publisher  G. P. Putnam's Sons

Country  United States
Publication date  27 December 1999
Pages  233pp
Originally published  27 December 1999
Genre  Non-fiction

Similar  Julia Cameron books, Creativity books, Author books

The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, by Julia Cameron is a non-fiction book written in first-person point of view about the creative process. The book contains the author's own experiences of writing and lessons learned, also exercises for the reader.


The Right to Write encourages writers in much the same way that the Cameron's previous work The Artist's Way encourages artists in general. The main focus of The Right to Write stated in the introduction is "to heal writers who are broken, initiate writers who are afraid, and entice writers who are standing at river's edge, wanting to put a toe in." Also stated in the introduction is the sentence: "This book is less a "how to" book than a "why" book." There is an introduction and 43 chapters, at the end of each of which is a writing exercise. There are also suggested readings by the author listed after the final section. The author uses her own experiences, metaphor, and figures of speech to detail the writing process. One major point made in the book is that writers don't have to know what they want to say; once the writer begins the creative process, images and words will become available for the writer to use. Cameron also desbribes writer's block as a wall, a place where many start to compete and doubt their writing.

Cameron recommends that writers do writing exercises. These include free-writing, writing a list of things the reader may value, observing or writing about the reader's surroundings, or taking a walk to gain inspiration and insight.

In the chapter "Sketching", Cameron recommends that writers sketch their surroundings, the mood they are in, and anything else around that might be of interest. Then it says to make a list from one to five of different topics the reader would like to write about without the worry of being practical or deep.

The "Artist Date" and "Morning Pages" are exercises recommended in both The Right to Write and The Artist's Way. An "Artist Date" is time a writer sets aside to engage, alone, in activities that stimulate creativity and supply the writer with inspiration. Cameron refers to the process of finding inspiration for creative projects as "restocking the well". A "dried-up well" symbolizes writer's block. "Morning Pages" is an exercise Cameron recommends to free the writer from self-censure. It is a longhand free-writing activity done in the morning about anything the reader wants to write about. If there are creative blocks, she recommends the writer deal with those in the "Morning Pages". This exercise is especially important when the writer has no desire to write.


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