Conversation Part Three

The second most important basic tool for creative recovery according to Julia Cameron (in her book The Artist’s Way, 1992) is The Artist Date. She writes:

“The 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.”
Julia doesn’t stop at that but continues to say that “your artist needs to be taken out, pampered, and listened to.” She suggests “a visit to a great junk store, or an art gallery, or watching an old movie- doing things that do not cost money but time.”

Three years later Sarah Ban Breathnach (in her book Simple Abundance, 1995) recommends the reader to go on creative excursions. She tells us that “creative excursions are regular solo rendezvous with your authentic self.” This can be done by visiting a “fabulous thrift shop,” or taking in a “movie, (one of those English old dramas you love).” Anything that “requires an investment of time, not money. None of us are too busy to find two hours a week.”   

Julia then explains how important it is to go on artist dates, because as you do “you are receiving- opening yourself to insight, inspiration, guidance. A weekly artist date is self-nurturing but also remarkably threatening- and remarkably productive. You are likely to find yourself avoiding your artist dates. Recognize this resistance as a fear of intimacy- self intimacy. In the course of the release engendered by our artist date, we begin to hear resolutions. Perhaps equally important, we begin to fund the creative reserves we will draw in in fulfilling our artistry.” 

Sarah on the other hand also warns us to be “prepared for strong, emotional resistance. Excuses will be plentiful. Don’t give in. There are ways to do it, once we realize that nurturing our imaginations and developing a relationship with our authentic selves is an investment we can no longer afford to put off. Expect nothing less than signs of wonders to follow.”

In her book Julia designated three full pages explaining the artist date. She brings examples from real life as she makes clear what the advantages and benefits are by going on weekly excursions and what the drawbacks are when avoiding these dates.

Sarah in one page writes about all that Julia has already written earlier, sometimes even using Julia’s words. 


Is it a mere coincidence on Sarah’s part that she talks about exactly the same thing, in exactly the same words, after three years of the publication of Julia’s book The Artist’s Way? 

In my opinion it’s more than that. It’s natural for people to have the same ideas or thoughts but to express them in exactly the same phrases and words, even using the same examples or exercises, there must be more to it than just coincidence.

What do you think?


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