Who is Julia Cameron?

Here's a fascinating 80-second introduction to Julia Cameron's life.

In 1992, Julia Cameron published The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity. Twenty-five years later, it has sold more than four million copies worldwide.

Julia walks her talk, but that hasn't always been the case. She's an incredibly prolific poet, playwright, novelist, and filmmaker, with thirty books under her belt. But she eschews the title "creativity expert," preferring to call herself an artist.

"My books are not creative theory. They spring straight out of my own creative practice. In a sense, I am the floor sample of my own tool kit. When we are unblocked we can have remarkable and diverse adventures."

Julia started her writing career as a freelance journalist. One day in 1975, Playboy commissioned her to interview a young director named Martin Scorsese, who was shooting a movie called Taxi Driver. They hit if off immediately. He gave her the script to read. She suggested some tweaks. They married within the year.

The two collaborated on three scripts and a daughter, Domenica.

In this Bookpage interview, Julia recalls,

"It was like marrying into a Who's Who, but before they were. Martin was not yet famous, Steve Spielberg wasn't famous, Robert DeNiro wasn't famous. Everyone became famous simultaneously, so there was no grounding. It was crazy for everybody."

Julia and Martin moved to Los Angeles, where the pressure of celebrity took its toll. Julia already viewed herself as a hard-drinking writer in the mold of the infamous Dorothy Parker. But mental illness ran her family. (Her parents had simultaneous breakdowns when Julia was 21. She moved home to take care of her younger siblings.) She turned into a bona fide alcoholic with a psychosis chaser.

In 1977, Julia and Martin collaborated New York, New York, starring a young Liza Minnelli. Their marriage ended when Julia found Liza's clothes in Martin's closet. Suddenly, she was a single mother with a daughter to support. She knew she had to clean up her act.

By 1978, Julia got sober and began seeing a therapist. She realized creativity could be an authentic spiritual path that strengthened her sobriety. Julia began teaching "creative unblocking" to members of her old Hollywood crowd. These classes became The Artist's Way, which she self-published after her agent told her: "Julia, no one’s going to be interested in a book about creativity. Go back to being a screenwriter."

Eventually, the esteemed nonfiction publisher Jeremy Tarcher picked it up. Julia Cameron was 44 when her writing career took off. Today she's in her seventies and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her adorable dog. You'll notice that her recovery from addiction, and specifically Alcoholics Anonymous, deeply influences how she approaches It's Never Too Late.

Don't let that put you off. Her tools are solid.