At every stage in a creative career, you need to be able to say “I don’t know where this is going” – and then keep working.
In a culture of lockstep education, of factory-modeled jobs, of paint-by number culture, it’s increasingly difficult to say “I don’t know where this is going” and not quit. We do almost everything with fairly clear knowledge of where it will take us and why we are doing it. It’s cannot be that way for creative work: we must do the work, and then see where it takes us.
At the beginning of a creative career, it can be easier to take risks, and to honestly accept the lack of future insight.
Later, when established, we can find it harder to risk at all in this honest assessment. But creative work requires ditching plans, exploring roads with unknown destinations. Fear of not knowing can be paralyzing, but honesty about the process can help you overcome that paralysis and create.
In your creative work today, why not honestly say, “I don’t know where this is going,” and then pursue an idea down the rabbit hole. Even if it’s a false start, it’s the best way to create something new and honest.
If you don’t regularly do anything that requires you to set aside detailed planning and create: what are you waiting for? Create! Abandon sureness and head off into the unknown!