Like Julia Cameron’s other works, Walking in This World is the kick in the seat of the pants that many artists need to keep coming back to the page every day and really be artists. While not as earth shaking and revelation-causing as The Artist’s Way, this second tome in the Artist’s Way series still focuses on Cameron’s three main tools—morning pages, artist dates and walking—to encourage people to become better artists.
In Walking, Cameron stresses on the need to simply begin, wherever you are. Whether you think you’re suffering from writer’s block, you haven’t painted in twelve years, you’re a former concert pianist turned homemaker—whatever—you can start right now, this moment, and embrace your own art. Just show up to the page, and let God handle the quality while you produce the quantity, advises Julia.
Cameron also explores the concept of gently approaching art, dipping into it daily and “wooing it” through small gestures as you might a lover. Rather than burning out trying to write a novel in a week, coming to the pages every day—even for a few minutes—for a long period of time is much more effective.
In Walking, Julia stresses the need for an hour-long, weekly walk in addition to your daily strolls. Though this is addressed in the end-of-chapter checkups in each section, it’s rarely addressed in the book’s material itself; the same goes with artist dates and morning pages. It might have been more helpful with a few gentle reminders throughout the text.
In The Artist’s Way, Cameron mentions these tools here and there, occasionally providing fodder for morning pages or artist dates. While it’s a given that graduates of the first book would already know how to do these tasks, highlighting them once again in Walking may have been an effective tool in getting readers to maintain their daily practices.
Also, while the weekly walk is addressed in the beginning of the book, it’s rarely mentioned throughout the rest (again, except for check-ins). Having some ideas, more examples, and even meditation suggestions for walks—though not always needed—would probably help engage readers further into the program as well.
The tasks in Walking in This World are not as intensive as they are in The Artist’s Way, either. They are more sparse, as well as gentle, and often do not require as much time or energy. That said, there are still very worthwhile tasks to do that will help you to break through artistic barriers.
If you are a Cameron fan and have completed The Artist’s Way, Walking in This World may help you continue on your journey.