I was this many years old when I learned about artist’s dates (how did I miss these?) If you’re like me and haven’t heard of this idea, artist’s dates are once-weekly, solo expeditions meant to get the creative juices flowing and the imagination sparked. The idea comes from Julia Cameron and as she puts it, artist’s dates should involve some mischief, whimsy, and fun. I love that the idea is to get out of your home/office and do something as well as that doing it solo gives you the space to think and be inspired without having to worry about someone else.
My tank has been running on empty for a while now so when another coach suggested the idea, I jumped on it. For many creatives, input of the world around us is such an important part of being creative. We need that input to keep the creative tank full and the motor running on our projects.
My first two artist’s dates have involved taking myself out for a little treat at a cafe (with lots of people watching) and going on a long bike ride at a local park. Both did wonders. I came home from each with a fuller tank. My word count has gone up and the number of ideas that have been swirling around in my brain is waaaay up.
Here’s a list of 25 ideas for artist’s dates for writers.
Wander around a graveyard (seriously, did anyone think this wasn’t going to be my #1?)
Visit a local museum.
Take a walk through a new neighborhood.
Snap photographs around your neighborhood.
Take an art class.
Visit a tourist destination near you or take a day trip to one.
Find a bookstore and browse the shelves. Try to leave with only one book (kidding! Who does that?")
Go to a restaurant and have lunch or dinner and journal about what you see, hear, smell, etc.
Try an exercise class that is different than one you normally do.
Take a bike ride down a new path or trail.
Pick a spot in a natural setting and paint it in a notebook or on a canvas.
Watch the sun rise or set.
Go for a hike.
Take a drive. See if you can get lost or pick a new destination.
Visit a local farmers’ market or flea market or flower market. Buy something that sparks your interest and use it in a story.
Make sandcastles at the beach.
Visit a botanical garden and pick a scent that reminds you of a character.
Create a scavenger hunt of 15 things you need to find. Then, go out and find them.
Head to an art gallery or museum to see the latest exhibit.
Find a park bench and people watch for an hour.
Rent a kayak and take it for a spin on a nearby waterway.
Buy a train ticket and watch the scenery go by.
Take yourself to the movies.
Lay in a field and watch the clouds.
Take a walk and listen to music that you wouldn’t normally choose.
Whatever you choose, artist’s dates should be fun. They should get you out of the daily routine, help you see the world a bit differently, and give you a break to let your mind wander and fill up on new things. What are your favorite ways to spend an artist’s date?