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Artist Date

 What is an artist date?

Artist dates are a concept created by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. The idea is that once a week you take yourself somewhere that will inspire you. Perhaps you go for a walk in nature, to a museum, go people watching in a cafe.

Here is what Julia Cameron has to say about artist dates:

 An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, you inner artist. In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against interlopers. You do not take anyone on this artist date but you and your inner artist, a.k.a. your creative child.  

For many people the thought of going somewhere alone is scary, so my suggestion would be to start with somewhere familiar, somewhere you feel really comfortable. Once you have achieved that, you can start to stretch your comfort zone a little. 

What are the benefits of an artist date?

When you are thinking about your writing life it is important to ensure that you are feeding your writer, whether that is reading or going on an artist date. You must make sure that you are putting as much in as you are taking out, otherwise your writing will become lifeless and empty.

You might be wondering how you are doing to make time to  go out for two hours a week, every week. 

artist date

We’re all busy, and, as with all habits, it may not be possible every week, but if you put it in your diary, and make it a priority, you might surprise yourself. As a writer you set time aside for your writing, that is important to you, whether it is writing a book, journaling or writing blogs and newsletters. You probably also make time to read, remember one of my favourite quotes from Pam Allyn: 

Reading is like breathing in, and writing is like breathing out.

Well, it can also be argued that your artist dates are an important part of that breathing in. Their purpose is to inspire you and give you food for thought, to enrich, and enhance your writing. So, really, artist dates and reading are like breathing in, and writing is like breathing out! 

Artist dates are also a great way to step away from whatever you are currently writing and give your brain time to breathe. When we allow ourselves to relax and shift our focus away from our writing it is amazing how inspiration flows. 

artist date

What sort of places can you visit for an artist date?

Well, the obvious places are things like museums, art galleries, bookshops, cafes etc. But you can go literally anywhere. If you are writing a book about a particular location or time in history for example you might want to visit somewhere relevant. Perhaps there is a famous writer’s house or museum near where you live that you could visit to soak in some of their genius. You might want to visit the seaside or a woodland. 

You might decide to take yourself to a cafe with a book of poems, or go to the cinema to watch a film that you have heard good things about. It really doesn’t matter where you go, there is inspiration everywhere.

The important thing is that you value your writing enough to commit to taking this time away to feed your inspiration and allow yourself to be the best writer you can be. 

If you are looking for some writing inspiration and a group of friendly, supportive writers, why not join A little word told me… this group is for enthusiastic amateurs. If you are a professional writer or write for business, over at Booksmith Academy (the book writing business which I run with my sister, Jen) we are just starting a fabulous new budget membership to support you with your writing. You can find out more about InkWell Scribes on the Booksmith Academy website. 



Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click the link and buy the product/service associated I will receive a small payment in return. The product/service will not cost you any more. I never recommend anything I have not experienced myself. I always appreciate any purchases made using my links as they enable me to continue writing and helping more people. 


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