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The Magic of Artist Dates

My students understand “working” on their Morning Pages-- after all, this is America, and we have a powerful work ethic. But the very same students who studiously apply themselves to writing their three pages a day often find themselves balking at my assignment of an Artist Date. And yet, an Artist Date is what fills the well for them, triggering synchronicity and the flow of creativity in their pages and in their life.

"But Julia!" students exclaim, "Taking an Artist Date is hard."

Yes, it is, I agree, at the beginning. But as Artist Dates become a weekly habit, they become easier.

Some students ask, "What exactly is an Artist Date?" I tell them it is a weekly expedition to explore something that enchants or interests them. It may be a trip to a bird store, to a children's bookstore, to a flower shop, to a museum. It does not need to be "high art." In fact, if we think of our creative self as being an inner youngster, we will be on the right track.

My most recent Artist Date entailed a visit to a store called "Feathered Friends." I met with finches, cockatiels, lovebirds and parrots of all sizes, colors and descriptions. I found myself enchanted, and, long after I left the store, birdsong echoed through my consciousness.

10 Comments on "The Magic of Artist Dates"

  1. What I have found quite often is that people are one or the other- it seems so difficult to do both. I have a friend who is constantly taking herself on amazing artists date but doesn’t want to do morning pages. As for me, I could write morning pages all day- but find it difficult to walk out the door for an artists date! I am trying to get the balance!

  2. Profile photo of B. Heuser

    I am the one who writes every day and went never on an Artist Date. Though I can see and feel the sense. I can feel the resistance. Like seven horses are pulling me back. Maybe I should ask them why…. What helps me is the idea to visit a nice shop (this week I am on countryside. What could it be here?). Guess it will help me to write a list with possible dates.

  3. Judith Vance says:

    I’m re-reading “The Artist’s Way,” and first read it in 1993. I’m finding, with the evolution of the Morning Pages, how my creativity is opening up to new ideas for Artist Dates. I thought how interesting it would be to go to World Market, to view the artwork there, to the museum, an art gallery, the landing where there’s beautiful sculptures, a pet store, and more. I’m finding how the Morning Pages and the Artist Dates are complimenting one another.

  4. Post-stomach bug having a nice cuppa by window with breeze and reading Walking in This World feels like an Artist Date – ahhhh the simple joys.
    Yours, Jules

  5. Finding it extremely difficult to think of and plan any Artist Dates. Morning pages fine though.

  6. I’ve picked up the book for the third time. Maybe the third time will be the charm for my Artist’s Date. It’s one of the things that drew me to the book in the first place, yet I never boarded that train.

  7. Interested in learning more about The Artists Way of Living.
    Love and Light
    From Gail
    Trinidad and Tobago

  8. Carolyn says:

    I did my morning pages faithfully for a few months plus artists’ dates and became unblocked with my writing. I have to get back to the morning pages, but I love artist’s dates. They’ve sparked a spirit of adventure and curiosity that’s
    been missing for a long time.

  9. Do you have to go “out” for every artist date? I don’t drive and the snow here can get pretty crazy making it hard to go be out and about. If I still dedicated time to doing something say watching a documentary at home, alone, on weeks where going out alone is nearly impossible does it still have the same effect or must I actually venture out into a foot and a half of snow?

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