The Artist’s Way ~ Artist Date
When you do your morning pages, you are sending yourself and the universe of your dreams, dissatisfactions, hopes. When you do your Artist Date, you are receiving—opening yourself to insight, inspiration, and guidance. Think of this combination of tools in terms of a radio receiver and transmitter. It is a two-step, two-directional process: out and then in.
WHAT EXACTLY IS AN ARTIST DATE?
An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.
In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers. You do not take anyone on this date but you and your inner artist, a.k.a. your creative child.
Yes. Your artist needs to be taken out, pampered, and listened to.
It is the time commitment that is sacred.
Your artist is a child. Time spent with a parent matters more than money spent. Visit to a great junk store, a solo trip to the beach, an old movie scene alone together, a visit to an aquarium or an art gallery — these cost time, not money.
Spending time in solitude with your artist child.
This is essential to self-nurturing. Commit yourself to a weekly artists day, and then watch your killjoy side try to wriggle out of it. Watch how the sacred time gets easily encroached upon. Watch how the sacred time suddenly includes a third-party. Learn to guard against these invasions.
Learn to listen to what your artist child has to say.
A little fun can go a long way towards making your work feel more like play. We forget that the imagination at play is at the heart of all good work. And increasing our capacity for good creative work is what this journey is about.
You are likely to find yourself avoiding your artist dates.
Recognize this resistance as a fear of intimacy—self intimacy. As you encounter yourself, it is probable that self-disclosures, frightening though they are, will lead to the building of a real relationship, one in which the participants are free to be who they are and to become what they wish. This possibility is what makes the risks of self-disclosure and true intimacy profitable. In order to have a real relationship with our creativity, we must take the time to care and cultivate it.
(The Artist's Way, p. 18-25)