Writing can be a lonely way of life. Many people, non-writers ask if I am lonely. My response: I am alone but not lonely. The writing keeps me company.
Over ten years ago I was introduced to Julia Cameron’s, The Artist’s Way. Julia and other writers have helped me stay on my writing path. What Julia has given me are tools to keep my creative well full and one of these tools is the Artist Date.
What is an Artist Date? It is a block of time that is set aside to commit to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist. The date is to be some type of excursion and only with yourself. No friends, spouses, or children. This date is to be with your inner artist, they need to be taken out, pampered and listened too. The date can be in the simplest forms, a walk along the beach, a trip to an antique or music store to look, maybe your artists want to try something different, the date is to have fun and connect with your inner artists. My favourite artists dates have been going to a cafe to write. First, I sit down and eavesdropping. I love to people watch as well, but it’s easier to be sitting at my laptop typing to over hear conversations that have sparked my imagination.
Commit to a weekly artists date and watch the self-doubter show up and try and get out of the date. Watch the fear of time spent on yourself. The ego is a sneaky old behavior that needs to be put on a permanent time-out. Listen to your inner artist and have fun.
Each date will help with gilling the creative well. When we sit down and write we are taking away from the pond, therefore we need to fill it back up. The artist date will help with this. I recently took my inner artist to a local cafe; one side is the cafe and the other side is a room with cats for adoption. It’s a great business. They book hour long time slots for people to sit in the room with the cats to enjoy their coffee and spend time with the cats. I go to the cafe to sit in the cafe side but next to the window of the cat room. I can watch the cats do their thing and when a family of four enters the room, I find myself smiling more as I watch the children get excited seeing the cats. This week there were two new kittens the children were so gentle with them. I could see mom and dad tell them to be gentle. (I assume this what they were saying because the room is enclosed, with a wall of glass to separate the rooms, you can’t hear too much from the room) As the children slowly walked up to the kittens to pet them then hug them. It was adorable. While I watching the playful events, I was intrigued by a near by conversation. There were two young women sitting at another table in the cafe. One girl was sharing some texts from who I assume is a boyfriend to the other woman. The woman was not talking softly, she seemed like she wanted the entire café to hear. To me it sounded like a nice conversation between the boy and the woman. Then the rest of the conversation was about how she wasn’t sure if she was ready to commit to one person. My depleted creative well was getting its full share of images to fill to the brim. Why? Because like a mystery, I am drawn in, leads me to ask ‘what’s next?’ or ‘what if?’ If I go down this road that I don’t normally go down, what will I see? It’s an exciting process for me and my inner artist.
After I left the cafe, I witnessed my imagination moving into overdrive. I couldn’t wait to get home and write, mostly bullet points to keep the theme of the conversation. One day I will use this moment in a story, for now it is hanging out in my pond with the other ideas swimming around gaining experience, backstory, theme, plotting and eventually into a story. Oh, how I love the creative process.
Do you take your inner artist on dates? How do you commit to your writing life? What helps you fill your creative well?
Thank you for being here with me today.
Until Next Time, Keep on Typing…