When uncertainty is better than certainty: Art and Fear

You have a choice…between giving your work your best shot and risking that it will not make you happy, or not giving it your best shot—and thereby guaranteeing that it will not make you happy.

David Bayles & Ted Orland

When it comes to the work you truly care about, or your art, uncertainty is better.

In Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, authors and artists, David Bayles and Ted Orland emphasize that “art is made by ordinary people.”

I believe that anyone who does work that they care about is attempting to create art. This is why I find books for artists and writers relevant to smart and caring people. They are concerned with how they spend their time and what their activity produces. Meaningful work helps us practice happiness.

Work that is important to us is often harder to do. Our identity is tangled in such work.

This quote reminds me that if I don’t do the work, I will not create anything. If, however, I can do at least one tiny thing, then at least I move myself a bit forward. While the path is uncertain and may not lead to “success,” it will have pulled me away from the certainty of “failure.”

Bayles and Orland go on to say:

What’s really needed is nothing more than a broad sense of what you are looking for, some strategy for how to find it, and an overriding willingness to embrace mistakes and surprises along the way.

Doesn’t this sound familiar? Like, maybe The Lighthouse Method?

Knitting notes

We set up our Christmas tree last weekend. I knit this simple tree skirt years ago. It always makes me happy to bring it out.

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