I’m always collecting artist date ideas for writers and in this post I want to share 52 ideas so you’ll have one for every week of the year. 

What is an artist date?

An artist date is a concept introduced in Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way. She writes: 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.”

An artist date is not only for a visual artist but for any creative, which means, dear writer, artist dates are definitely for you. 

Why You Need an Artist Date

Nurturing your inner artist is like nurturing your relationship with yourself and this relationship is just as important as – if not more important than – your relationship with your partner or your kids.

In The Artist’s Way, Cameron mentions how families in therapy, when asked if they spend quality time together, scoff at the idea. Parents and kids don’t take the time to have fun. Couples don’t make time to date each other. And the relationships suffer as a result. 

Just as your partner needs to take you out, you need to take your inner artist out too. 

Cameron recommends a weekly date with your inner artist. To make this happen, you must be intentional about preplanning the dates. An artist date is a solo date. You don’t bring along your kids, your spouse, or your friends. So, if you have children or if you’re a caretaker for a family member, you’ll need to get other family members on board to help you protect that time. 

How to Plan Your Artist Dates

  • Brainstorm a list of artist date ideas. 
  • Each month, choose four ideas from your list and schedule when you will try each one. 
  • Let your family know about your scheduled artist dates and arrange childcare or any other assistance you might need. 
  • In your journal, jot down a plan for each date. And after your date, record your thoughts on how things went.  
  • Join a writing community and ask your fellow writers to hold you accountable for weekly artist dates. 

52 Artist Date Ideas 

  1. Visit a local art museum or art gallery and write about the art that stands out to you most. 
  2. Go shopping for a new journal.
  3. Go shopping for a new book to read.
  4. Spend the afternoon writing at a local park.
  5. Spend the afternoon writing at your favorite coffee shop. 
  6. Watch a movie about writers. 
  7. Go to a poetry reading. 
  8. Spend the afternoon reading magazines.
  9. Use old magazines to create a vision board. 
  10. Use old magazines or newspapers to create blackout poems. 
  11. Attend a pop-up writing workshop.
  12.  Attend a lecture by a writer you admire. 
  13. Spend the afternoon taking photos. Then use the images as writing prompts. 
  14. Go for a long walk along your favorite trail. 
  15. Visit a creative shop that has nothing to do with writing such as a music shop, art supply shop, or fabric store.
  16. Go see a play. 
  17. Go to a local festival. 
  18. Attend a local concert. 
  19. Take a stroll through your local botanical garden.
  20. Try a DIY mani/pedi. 
  21. Try a beauty treatment face mask. 
  22. Go to a local playground and swing! 
  23. Take yourself out for dinner and a movie. 
  24. Write a letter to the person you plan to be in 10 years. 
  25. Make a list of 99 things you love about yourself and your life. 
  26. Go shopping at your local farmers market.
  27. Make a bucket list.
  28. Create a playlist of your favorite songs.
  29. Dance around to your playlist of favorite songs.
  30. Read your old journals. 
  31. Buy a box of crayons or colored pencils and a coloring book and color as you did as a kid. 
  32. Write something outside of your genre.
  33. Teach yourself how to make candles. 
  34. Give yourself a $10 or $20 limit and go buy fun but random items from a dollar store or a store like Five Below. 
  35. Write a list of 31 affirmations.
  36. Make a small booklet of your favorite quotes. 
  37. Bake something. 
  38. Create a week’s worth of Instagram Reels. 
  39. Try a new recipe. 
  40. Go shopping at an international grocery store.
  41. Attend a local food festival. 
  42. Attend a local festival to learn about a different culture.
  43. Go to the beach. 
  44. Browse an estate sale in your neighborhood.
  45. Meditate. 
  46. Catch up on your favorite podcasts. 
  47. Catch up on your favorite YouTube channels.
  48. Watch some inspirational TED Talks
  49. Try a new form of physical activity.
  50. Buy a new outfit at your local thrift store. 
  51. Solve a giant jigsaw puzzle.
  52. Spend an hour or two at your local library.

What ideas would you add to this list?