I’m reading a book entitled The Artist’s Way, which is a 12-week class to help you unlock creativity in your life (e.g. kill writer’s block, gain self-confidence in your art, etc.) Two of the exercises I find most fascinating are Morning Pages and Artist Dates.
Write three pages of nonsense every morning. By allowing stream-of-consciousness thoughts out of your brain and on paper, you give yourself some room to think. (The author compares it to meditation for people who can’t silence their thoughts. (Me.)) When I was taking classes at Second City, they had a similar, but less strenuous, exercise: just write ten minutes every day. This idea of writing consistently to form a habit seems to be a popular one. Even for those whose art doesn’t involve writing, it’s still recommended to help clear brain clutter.
Take yourself on a solo date once a week, for at least two hours. What constitutes an “artist date” is up to your interpretation. The basic idea is to slow down and take some time to hang out with yourself and do things or go places you normally wouldn’t. Ever the good student, I found a list of 101 Artist Date ideas here.
I’m most excited about Artist Dates because I tend to only read or watch movies on weeknights and that’s when my restlessness in Chicago kicks in. Until that situation can be remedied (aka we move), there are a ton of fun options I can explore every Tuesday night (my chosen date night).
So here’s to solo date nights. Looking forward to planting something, writing a letter to a friend, taking myself to dinner and a movie, taking a walk with someone else’s iPod, writing a letter to myself in 10 years, creating an accomplishment board, reading a children’s book, and playing tourist in my own town, amongst many more.
I’ll be writing about them from time to time here and I hope some of you might join me.
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