On Creative Uncertainty

I was looking through files from previous talks as I’m currently writing a speech of sorts and at the same time, working on the contents for my new book. I found this “You start by not knowing” slide hiding somewhere from a previous talk I’ve given, and it never felt so real until recently.

This week, I have finally allotted time to write the chunkier parts of my book, the parts where I really need to look inwards (and outwards for other perspectives) and get a good grip of what the creative process should look like. And it’s funny, because for the past few days, I sit at my desk and tell myself, “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing, but I’m doing it anyway.” And while it’s personally derailing to feel like I don’t know most of what I’m doing, it’s not like I have any other choice. I think I’ve conditioned myself enough to know that I’ll be learning as I go, anyway.
(Drafts for my new book. Lowkey dedicated to my 17y/o self who didn’t realize her creative capabilities at that time.)

I wish I could tell you it’ll be easy to figure out where your creativity takes you as you move forward, but I’m going to be upfront and say that isn’t possible. Most of the decisions that brought me to be in this position have been out of curiosity, out of my constant question of “what’s next”, and my (sometimes) impulsive attitude on going after what I want. But it’s not like my creativity easily followed suit. All my life, I always tell myself I am incapable of being creative, mostly because I was raised in an environment that didn’t validate my art. I always knew it was something that would make me happy; I’m more than grateful that now it has its own capability of helping others discover their own skills in the process.

I know planning ahead is crucial; I am one of those excessively strategic people who always likes plotting things out (for the record, I am a Capricorn). But there are just moments where you acknowledge that maybe this is not how things are supposed to go. Maybe it could go somewhere else. Leave a little space to wonder and maybe it’s okay to not have everything all figured out. I mean, if we had everything all planned out for us, where’s the fun in that? Spontaneity is actually kinda fun.

My point is, creative uncertainty is real. What are you going to do with scraps of paper filled with notes and ideas? With an empty sheet of watercolor paper and tubes of paint? With an abandoned manuscript you managed to salvage in your pile of mess? You create. Maybe for now, it won’t matter where it’ll take you; just create. Make something, then figure out the rest as you go along.

Okay, back to writing for me.

Always be creating,

Abbey