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Julia Cameron

Reflections on Julia Cameron's The Right to Write — An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life

Web References: The Artist's Way at Work, Julia Cameron's Book Excerpts

Replenishing the Well Posted Mar-22-2005
The Well, p. 64
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 "Artist Date").

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 like it. She wisely knows that by just beginning, even the most resistant among us are swept up into the creative process. 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 concept 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....

The Right to Write Posted Feb-20-2005
I'm on page 36 of Julia Cameron's book The Right to Write. I was looking for the chapter number to note here, but quickly realized there are no chapter numbers — only section names. The section I'm in is called Mood.

So far, this book has been an incredible inspiration to me. It's the first of its kind that I've come across (not that I've actively sought out books about pleasure writing) that discusses writing in terms other than "you must be an all-around perfect writer before you should even think of writing." I suppose I've taken one too many writing workshops and college classes focusing on style and grammar — and I'm far from "perfect" still. Julia's book is teaching me that all the rules in the world don't matter — there is something far more important at play here regarding the written words that reflect from our inner soul.

I'll have more to share soon.

More Julia Cameron Tidbits...

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