In The Writer's World

The Artist Date is a once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you…think mischief more than mastery…they spark whimsy….  –Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way

Julia Cameron and I met on the pages of The Artist’s Way approximately 15 years ago.Her “morning pages” outlined in one of the early chapters of the book, have been a part of my daily practice ever since.

But for me, the “artist’s date” has proven more taxing, more difficult to do on a consistent basis because often I feel guilty.

Basically, the artist’s date is a date with yourself. Cameron calls it “wooing your artistic self”. The idea is to do something out of the daily norm, and that simple act will, simply through doing it, kick-start your own creative process.

What does one do? When I do take advantage of an artist’s date, I might take myself to movies I wouldn’t normally see, explore a neighborhood. Hawthorne is a blast, just for example. Go to the library without any particular agenda and simply wander and pick up books. Go to the library and spend an hour or two in the magazine section. Snoop in the designer section at Nordstrom and try on clothes I could never afford. Have a beauty makeover at the Lancome counter. Eat at a new restaurant all by myself. Drive to the coast to walk in the sand.

I can think of a hundred things I want to do once the weather gets nicer. But for now, I just need to turn off the computer, get my rump off the office chair, and get over myself. I can visit a second-hand store or someplace I’ve never been in the Pearl. Buy lunch at a food cart. Go to Portland Art Museum.

You need to get out too, because one never knows where that Muse might be hanging out today. She’s out there somewhere waiting for us, hoping to spark some whimsy. And what is more fun than whimsy? I can’t think of one darned thing!


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