Following on from my posts about the methods used in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, I’d like to discuss the second important tool in the kit – The Artist’s Date!
When I first read it, my initial thoughts where ‘What?’ ‘Date myself?’Are you mad?!’ But then I got to thinking about it. How often do we spend time doing something we enjoy on our own? Just for us? (no smart answers please)
We don’t really, we tend to do things in groups. I made a comment on twitter a few weeks ago about how I still get a small thrill from going through a tunnel. This is typical of my chit chat on twitter. It’s aimless, mostly nonsense and just for fun – the ingredients for a good artists date! But aside from being a silly comment, it was true. Thinking back to your childhood, can you remember the fun we had crawling through tunnels? As children we spent so much time having fun. Playing games in the street, riding our bikes or playing football. We played so many games and we used our imagination. Wasn’t it fun? As working adults we lose our fun, use our imagination less. It’s important to tap back into that and the Artist’s Date can help.
Choose something fun, something ‘different’, something you know you will enjoy, something that will inspire you. Make it the type of date that picks you up from the door with a bunch of flowers. This is a date where it’s all about you.
When I started this I thought about where I would like to go on a real date and took inspiration from there. Examples could be rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding lessons, trip to an art gallery, it depends on where your fun lies. (As you can tell from the examples, I like action!) Think about things that you maybe haven’t done in a long time, or things you’ve always wanted to do and book!
Make a real effort to kickstart your social life with you. Make the commitment to go every week. No friends allowed. Just you.
Working on many levels the Artist’s Date can assist you in something I think is SO important when you are writing. A further step in bravery. You may think ‘Karlie, what are you talking about?’ and you have to bear with me a bit here. What I mean is that it takes bravery to admit you are creative, to commit to being creative and to take steps to unleash your creativity. Especially if this is a new step for you. Something you have wanted to do but never got round to. In today’s world, anyone taking a step away from the ordinary could be viewed as strange or weird. Which is not true, you’re following your dreams. A great thing! Remember, it is NEVER to late to be who you want to be!
Turning up at the cinema on your own, or to a group activity on your own also shows you have a deep commitment to your art. You are making a promise to yourself, you’re investing time in yourself. How often do we hang out with people who waste our time? Surely we owe it to ourselves!! And can you imagine the fun you will have? The new people you will meet? The inspiration you will get?
So, before you get nervous and think, ‘oh he/she would never go out with someone like ME’ – get dating!! Start off small, take yourself for coffee to a nice bakehouse, and have the BIGGEST, yummiest slice of cake you can find! Enjoy!! Happy writing 🙂
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