The Shift with Sam Baker

Share

Julia Cameron on alcoholism, creativity and emotional sobriety

Season 9, Ep. 90

My guest today is the author of the cult bestseller The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron. Part book, part tool-kit, part spiritual guide, The Artists Way has sold over 4 million copies globally and has inspired countless artists, writers, and creatives including Elizabeth Gilbert, Alicia Keyes, Pete Townshend and many more.


In the 30 years since that was published, Julia has written a movie, 7 plays and 23 books, including her memoir Floor Sample. Written in her late 50s she looked back over the first half(ish) of her life: her catholic education, alcoholism and drug abuse, her brief marriage to director Martin Scorsese, and her subsequent search for meaning, for herself, for home, ultimately for a way to be comfortably sober.


Speaking from her home in Santa Fe, Julia shared her incredible journey from “just a girl” at Catholic school to The Artists Way by way of leaving Washington a writer and landing in Hollywood a wife. She spoke candidly about losing the love of her life, getting and staying sober, how the nuns were her introduction to women with power and how the morning pages transformed her life. Now 74 and 45 years dry, she says, she’s braver than ever.


* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including The Artists Way by Julia Cameron and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me! Julia's recommendation, Creative Ideas by Ernest Holmes is out of print, but you can buy it here.


* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/


The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.

More Episodes

9/20/2022

Nana-Ama Danquah on the triple burden of mental health, menopause and being Black - THE SHIFT REVISITED

Season 9, Ep. 97
One of my favourite things about making The Shift podcast is all the fascinating women I get to interview - and learn a little bit from. So I’m revisiting a few of my favourite episodes while I finish putting together the new season. I had never heard of Nana-Ama Danquah before I started The Shift and speaking to her was one of my most enlightening conversations. Nana-Ama's writing has recently found a new audience and was shortlisted for this year's Caine Prize.Here are the original show notes:My guest today is the Ghanaian American writer Nana-Ama Danquah. Nana-Ama found herself in the public eye when, in the late 90s, she published her memoir Willow Weep For Me about suffering from clinical depression - one of the first books to openly discuss black women’s mental health experience. Critically acclaimed by the likes of the late, great Maya Angelou, its description of the shame, dismissal, denial and out and out despair experienced by many black women started a much-needed conversation that was widely credited with “saving lives”. (It's currently not published in the UK - publishers I AM LOOKING AT YOU!)Now 53, Nana-Ama joined me from her home in (sunny) California (grrr) to talk about the double - in fact, make that triple - burden of mental health, menopause and being black, why black women are driving change right now, how menopause turned her into a hot mess and how she’s finally learnt the joy of doing what you do until you die.• You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including the book that accompanies this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by Sam Baker. Willow Weep For Me by Nana-Ama Danquah is not published in the UK, but you can buy it from amazon.co.uk or abebooks.co.uk.* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
9/13/2022

Anita Rani on why her 40s are her power decade - THE SHIFT REVISITED

Season 9, Ep. 96
One of my favourite things about making The Shift podcast is all the fascinating women I get to interview - and learn a little bit from. So I’m revisiting a few of my favourite episodes while I finish putting together the next season. This is a replay of one of my all time favourites, with the inimitable Anita Rani.I did this interview in June 2021. Here are the original show notes:What even is the “right sort of girl?” That’s a question my guest this week has long struggled to answer. Growing up in Yorkshire, TV presenter and self-proclaimed misfit Anita Rani always felt that she was somehow *wrong* - a feeling that was exacerbated when she moved to London to break into the media - and found herself too brown, too northern, too female. Oh, and too gobby. A triple threat with bells on. Now 43, she co-fronts two national institutions - Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and BBC’s Country File - and has finally reached a point where she felt able to answer (or at least tackle) the question: who even am I? in her memoir, The Right Sort of Girl.Join Anita and me as we journey from 1970s Bradford to her perch on the top of the media tree via eldest-Punjabi-daughter-guilt, never ever ever talking about periods, grunge and Oprah-worship. On the way, Anita tells me why south asian women are badasses, why shapeshifting to fit other people’s expectations is a waste of energy and how she learnt to own her anger. This is a celebration of being in your 40s, being yourself and finding your purpose and I’m pretty sure that you, like me, will love her for it. • You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including Anita Rani's memoir, The Right Sort of Girl, and the book that accompanies this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too by me!* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.
9/6/2022

Lisa Jewell on hitting a golden seam of success in her 50s

Season 9, Ep. 95
Today’s guest is one of Britain’s best loved novelists, Lisa Jewell. Her career started with a smash hit debut novel Ralph’s Party - which she started writing as a bet at the age of 27 while she was unemployed, and, according to her, “totally lacking in direction and ambition”. It was the book of the moment and for 14 novels it looked like her career - although ticking along nicely - would never hit those heights again. Then her writing took a turn for the dark and her career took a turn for the stratospheric. Lisa Jewell, it transpired had a knack for a killer twist. That knack propelled her to the top of the bestseller lists on both sides of the atlantic with And Then She Was Gone. That was six books ago and she’s never been more successful. I went to see Lisa in her envy-inducing North London home to talk about her latest book, The Family Remains, the debt she owes Bridget Jones and the sequel she wishes had never seen the light of day. We also chatted about hitting “a golden seam” in her 50s, her unexpectedly scary perimenopause symptoms, testosterone overload, and her extremely proactive ovaries! Plus she shares her controversial secret to successfully parenting teenage girls.* You can buy all the books mentioned in this podcast at Bookshop.org, including The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell and the book that inspired this podcast, The Shift: how I lost and found myself after 40 - and you can too, by me!* And if you'd like to support the work that goes into making this podcast and get a weekly newsletter plus loads more content including transcripts of the podcast, please join The Shift community. Find out more at https://steadyhq.com/en/theshift/• The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker and edited by Emily Sandford. If you enjoyed this podcast, please rate/review/follow as it really does help other people find us. And let me know what you think on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.