Julia Cameron has a diet book. It’s called, “The Writing Diet: Write Yourself Right-Size”. I’m intrigued. Aren’t you?
For those of you who do not know, Julia Cameron is a well known writer’s writer who has written countless books, many on the topic of writing. Her book “The Artist’s Way” is referenced time and time again amongst writers for the way that it has helped them overcome writer’s block and streamline their creative process. Very simply put, she suggests a two step process for tapping into your creativity.
Step one is to write three pages longhand first thing every morning before you even get out of bed. These should be three pages written in your stream of consciousness. These “morning pages” are not intended to be shared with anyone, although if you happen to write something brilliant in them, nothing is stopping you from using it in your work. You don’t even have to go back and read these pages yourself, the reward is in the act of writing. It is supposed to, according to Cameron, clear your mind to allow for more creativity and get you “current” with the thoughts wandering around in your head.
Step two is to take yourself on “artist dates”. I’m not sure but I think these are supposed to be done alone. They can be obvious things like taking yourself to a museum or art gallery or they can be things like a walk in a park, a trip to a craft store, people watching at the mall. Whatever it is that sparks creativity within you. There are no wrong answers. You just have to go with the singular intention of observing and gathering inspiration for your own creations.
At this point I should probably tell you that I haven’t completely read “The Artist’s Way” but I do feel like I’ve read enough/heard enough about it to get the gist. I haven’t read this book, “The Writing Diet” either, though it is sitting right in front of me as we speak. I also have at least two, possibly more, of her books and I haven’t read those either. I feel bad about that. Get off my back. You may not have even heard of her so don’t give me a hard time. I just bet that you have read every book you own cover to cover, right? Hmm. I didn’t think so.
Anyway, if I have any credibility left, I should also point out that I haven’t done these activities, myself, in any sort of continuos way. I have started morning pages several times. I think the longest I ever kept up with it is three weeks and that was when I was unemployed. I do think that it helped me, just as she said it would. It’s just hard to have the time to devote to three pages long hand first thing in the morning when you have a job to get to.
I suppose that I could set my alarm a half an hour early to make time for them. I could also set my alarm an hour early and go work out before work. I could also set it early and make myself a nice breakfast, I could, while I’m at it, set it early enough to do my makeup better, or watch the news, or read this fucking book. Maybe, how about, I just never go to bed. Would that be better? Would you be happy then? Geez. I’m sure you guys do all these things in the morning. I’m sure you never hit the snooze. Well, I’m not as good as you. Is that what you want to hear? Fine. I’m not.
Okay, so, “The Writing Diet: Write yourself Right-Sized” uses the basic principles found in “The Artist’s Way” and combines them with a few extra steps and voila: Julia Cameron diet book.
The premise is that in all her years teaching writing classes, she noticed that as her students were getting more into writing they were naturally losing weight and improving their general appearance. She claims that time and time again during her 12 week courses she would see students transform before her very eyes and she felt there was something to this that might help other writers to lose weight.
Why not? I’ve done so many other stupid things to lose weight. Let’s try this. It might help with my writing also. Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone. Maybe I could lose one stone and let the birds live. I don’t know. I hate birds so…we will see what happens.
So, basically, with this book, you still do the morning pages but additionally you log what you eat and why you ate it and when and what you were feeling before, during, and after eating it, in a separate journal that you take with you everywhere. This is supposed to get you in tune with what causes you to overeat. You are also supposed to write in your journal when you have the urge to eat but are trying not to indulge. Not only does this practice make you more aware of why you are eating too much, it helps to get you into the habit of writing more.
You are still supposed to go on artist dates but these are to be culinary artist dates, I haven’t got that far in the book yet so I’m not sure what exactly that means but I can take a guess and so can you. The book also recommends that you incorporate walking into your daily activities and there are four questions that you ask yourself, once again, I haven’t gotten there yet but the suspense is killing me.
That’s just the first half of the book. The second half is a troubleshooting guide for how to handle different scenarios in which you would typically overeat or eat the wrong things. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I haven’t read that part either.
So this concludes my book report on the book I haven’t read. Listen, I’m just trying to keep you guys informed of what I’m doing, okay? I’m not a speed reader. Even though I haven’t read it, I’m going to go ahead and recommend it. Or, if you are the right size already, I recommend any of her other books on writing, that I also haven’t read. If any of you have read any of her books, please comment below about your experience and how it has changed you life completely for the better. This will encourage me to go forward with this. I will let you know how it all goes for me in a few months or so. Unless I never finish it, which is a very likely possibility.
Like you’re so perfect.