Creativity Crusher: Fear of Uncertainty

My thought today: it seems like I really like it when things make sense. If something is chaotic, unknown, amorphous, I have a hard time with it. I ache to get in there to tame, understand, and define. In other areas of life, of course, this isn’t such a bad thing. Order makes my family happy.

But then there is my art.

Art is born in a mishmash of chaos. What might seem like a lovely bit of fun from the outside is hiding characters that aren’t doing what they’re supposed to do, a plot that is muddled, metaphors that are jumbled, and a theme that only leaves me bewildered…

What I learned to do in the past, when I wasn’t so experienced with juvenile fiction, was to accept that things were going to get really messy before I even started to understand them. I learned to move ahead anyway, to get comfy with disorder, to embrace confusion.

Now that I’m starting a new genre, it seems I need to learn this all over again. Angel’s Flight is a far more complex story, and things will get a little wild. I need to accept that and relax into the craziness.  I need to keep in mind that that’s how the process works. And have fun with it too. Fun is good. 🙂

Posted in Random Thoughts, Writing Life and tagged .


  1. Hi Angela, For some of us non-plotters, the chaos is a given and you are right, part of the creative process. As a painter I found the same thing, that getting somthing on the page/canvas is what is important – anything is better than nothing. Then you stare at it and roll up your sleeves and really get into it.
    Look forward to meeting you at the RWA picnic. Great site.

    • That is so interesting, Judy. With painting, I wonder if the fear of uncertainty or of making a mistake is even stronger than with writing? I haven’t done much painting – if you don’t count at the kitchen table with my daughter 🙂 – but the pressure of making that first mark, of wondering if it will be “right”, and knowing once made, it’s there forever… stressful!

      But on the other hand, painting is probably a good thing for writers to play with for that very reason. It might give us practice in courageous free expression. Do you find that your painting helps your literary art?

Comments are closed.