How Many Words Should Be in a Book of Personal Essays that Are Like Julia Cameron’s Book The Artist’s Way?


In 2002, Julia Cameron’ book The Artist’s Way was published. I was battling depression, and I could no longer force myself to draw or paint. Although I had a master’s degree in English, with an emphasis in writing, I had not written anything at all since college. I was mired in emotional quicksand, and I had no energy for anything more than mere survival. A friend gave me Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, and every word on every page spoke to me. Although it has taken me quite some time to realize it, I believe that I knew in 2002 that one day, I wanted to write a book similar to the book that Cameron had written.

After I read Cameron’s first book, I read two more books that she wrote, and then, I put the books away. I knew that I didn’t want to rewrite Cameron’s books and that I wanted to express my own thoughts. In order to do that, I needed to distance myself from Cameron’s words. That was an important part of finding my own voice.

Nine months ago, I began to write, and I have begun to accumulate some writing that I want to collect in a book. In beginning that effort, I decided that it might be helpful for me to know more about the structure of Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way.

Product Details
Paperback: 237 pages
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam; 10th ed. edition (March 4, 2002)
Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
#1 in Books > Arts & Photography > History & Criticism > Criticism
#3 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Worship & Devotion > Inspirational
#4 in Books > Arts & Photography > Individual Artists

An editor aid the following about structure of the book The Artist’s Way Here:

  • Do you want to publish a wide format book—with inspiring quotes down the side margins? If so, these books need to be the 7” X 9” trim size, and the slightly larger pages can hold 400 to 450 words per page. Thus, 100 pages = 40,000 to 45,000 words and 200 pages yields 80,000 to 90,000 words for the main body of the text (this excludes the words used in the quotations down the sides of the book’s margins).

” The bestselling creativity guide which I edited, The Artist’s Way, is one of the shining examples of this wide format book. It contains 38 lines per page, with an average of 12 words per line, thus 456 words per book page. The total page count (excluding Appendices and Index) is 204 pages, thus about 93,000 words.”

It appears that The Artist’s Way is about 204 pages long and that it includes 93,000 words; therefore, the average word count on each page is 456 words. There are 12 chapters in the book, and if my calculations are correct, the average word count per chapter is 7,750.




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