An unflinching memoir by the woman who has helped thousands of people uncover their creative inspiration.
In Floor Sample, the author of the international bestseller The Artist's Way weaves an honest and moving portrayal of her life. From her early career as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine and her marriage to Martin Scorsese, to her tortured experiences with alcohol and Hollywood, Julia Cameron reflects in this engaging memoir on the experiences in her life that have fueled her own art as well as her ability to help others realize their creative dreams. She also describes the fascinating circumstances that led her to emerge as a central figure in the creative recovery movement-a movement that she inaugurated and defined with the publication of her seminal work, The Artist's Way.
Julia Cameron is a passionate and wry observer of the world, and her account of her life as a self-described "floor sample" for all she teaches in her brilliant books on creativity will surprise, entertain, and inspire all her many fans as well as anyone interested in an absorbing literary memoir.
Offbeat and eccentric, but it makes for great reading
By Paul Allaer - August 14, 2006
Unlike most reviewers here, let my state upfront that I was not familiar whatsoever with Julia Cameron. I saw this book and read the inside flap summary: "wrote for Rolling Stone, "was married to Martin Scorsese", hmmm, this could be interesting I thought, and off I went with the book. What a surprise that was awaiting me.
In "Floor Sample" (405 pages), Julia Cameron brings her life story, and what a story it is. From her early days, strict Catholic upbringing, Julia describes how she started the party life in college at Georgetown, seeking ways to channel her obvious writing talents, eventually leading to Rolling Stone assignments, which in turn lead to a short-lived but high intensity courtship, and eventual, marriage to Martin Scorsese. Her drinking spiraled out of control, leading to the break-up with Scorsese. Then things really turn interesting: Cameron quits drinking altogether and starts life anew, seeking out writing assignments in magazines, tipping her toes in... read more
Did Anyone Else Notice?
By M. Moon - February 2, 2007
I, too, have read The Artist's Way and found much that was valuable in it. It's a beautiful book, inspiring and helpful on many levels. So I was interested to read Julia Cameron's memoir. What struck me immediately was her writing style, which I don't particularly like. Her dialogue, especially, is stilted and awkward. Do none of the people in her world use contractions? Anyway, as the book got deeper into her life and she began to describe her breakdowns or "breakthroughs", as her Taos friends insisted on seeing these obvious psychotic episodes, I at first arm-chair diagnosed her as being bi-polar. One of her doctors, did too. But then he changed his mind and told her that she never had been and to wipe that from her consciousness. It came to me though, that this woman may well be the world's highest functioning schitzophrenic! She hears voices and she takes instructions from them. They "dictate" books, essays, plays, and even music to her. And then I realized that the entire concept... read more
Surviving as an Artist - a How To
By Bonnie - June 27, 2006
I had the privilege to attend a workshop with Julia recently and was impressed by her humor, her strength, her passion, and her talent. And yes, her vulnerability. This is a fabulous book, reflecting all these facets of this complicated, gifted woman.
It's a brave memoir, in that she details serious problems, including alcohol and drug abuse as well as two failed marriages, and a great stuggle with emotional stability. But throughout it all, Julia remains true to her dual calling, that of an artist and a teacher. No matter what transpires, she not only continues to create her own art of many kinds, but works hard and with great generosity to help other artists find their muse and working rhythms.
The big message of this book is that an artist is about her work. The work continues no matter what. She preaches this, yes, but lives it too. That's what she means by "Floor Sample" - of her own method, The Artist's Way.
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