Replenishing the Well Posted
This section in The Right to Write has helped revise
my perspective on the importance of the "Artist Date," one
of the significant tools used in the 12 weeks of the Artist's
Way (my unreadiness to commit to that book were due
in part to having to write daily
"Morning Pages" and going on a weekly
On page 64, Julia Cameron describes the Artist Date:
Put simply, an Artist Date is a once-weekly solitary
expedition to something festive that interests us. It can
be a visit to
a museum, an aquarium store, a yarn shop. It can be a concert,
a movie, and exhibition on dinosaurs. The point is to go
somewhere fascinating and to go alone.
And why must it be alone? She says:
You are romancing, wooing, courting your creative consciousness.
This is something that requires you and your inner artist to
spend time alone.
The point of the Artist Date is to fill up an "inner fund
of images" Julia refers to as "the well" that writers draw upon.
She compares it to an "inner pond, one that must be kept both
stocked and freely flowing." Because we draw a lot of our creative
inspiration from our own experiences, it is natural
that we have to replenish those experiences somehow, and the
weekly Artist Date is there to make sure this happens.
One of the reasons I first resisted the idea of the Artist
Date was because I don't like to force inspiration. Whenever
I try to "schedule" creative time, it seems more like a chore
and less of a genuine desire, thus, I'm not as present as I
wish to be. But one will soon realize that Julia is all about
being creative "right where you are," even when you don't feel
wisely knows that by just beginning, even
the most resistant among us are swept up into the creative
And then what do we say? "I'm so glad I did that."
After reading Julia's insightful explanation about the Artist
Date, I realized that I already agreed on the
and have been doing it all along. I just didn't have a formal
name for it, and I don't always do it alone. But I certainly
acknowledge its place and value in a creative life and will
work on making it happen more often.
Hmmm, maybe I should make
it a weekly date after all.... •