Creative Writing,  Creativity,  Life Lessons

The Ultimate Artist’s Date

Years ago I read Julia Cameron’s “The Artist’s Way.” The book had such a profound affect on me that I read all her other books too. Creative people know that there is an energy to creativity. Like other forms of energy there are things that will help it to expand and things that will cause it to shrink. We learn over time how to feed the energy, control the flow of energy, and how to maximize the energy while creating.

Cameron recommends going on artist’s dates as a way to boost creative energy. These are scheduled, intentional solo outings designed to spark insight and connection. So this March Break I decided to spend four days in Toronto on the ultimate artist’s date.

On the train from Cobourg to Toronto, rather than listen to my usual coffee house playlists, I listened to jazz. Within two songs I felt my creative soul opening up. It was all I could do not to spring up into the aisles and sing with my whole body. When had I stopped listening to jazz? A year ago? Five years ago? How does a person lose something as big and as wonderful as jazz?

My days and evenings were filled with artist’s dates while I was in the city. A night at the ballet. An afternoon at a musical. A trip to a museum. A gallery. Time with people  who inspire me. Each date stirred stories that long to be written and songs that cry out to be sung.

And now I’m at home bursting with ideas and possibilities and projects. I feel awake again.

So I greet  my laptop like a beloved old friend, snuggle in my favourite chair ready to begin. And that’s when the doubt creeps in…the worries…the fears. What if I get distracted again? What if I’m too tired to create when I’m back at work? What if I’ve forgotten how to do this?

When we’ve fed our creative force well it has the strength to overcome our dragons. And so my questions start to pass by like moving clouds. The story is stronger than the doubts. The song is louder than the worries.

It is so nice to begin again…Thank-you Julia Cameron.

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4 Comments

  • Victor Svenningson

    What a wonderful holiday, to be lost in art, I can not think of a better time. The idea is on a list and I hope to follow you this summer. May not be Toronto, I am hearing great things about Chicago of all places!

  • Lynda Allison

    You too are inspiring, Jessica. I am planning on a couple of write and hike days to some pretty locations along with some other writers. Your post makes me want to leave right now.

    • Jessica Outram

      Thanks so much, Lynda! I wish I could get out every week and do this! It’s so important to connect to both worlds when we write–the inside world and the outside world! Happy hiking!!

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