my big creative year : the power of uncertainty

the power of uncertainty

Two great enemies of creativity are inertia and certainty. The fix for inertia is simple, not easy, but very simple – start, move, take a step forward. Certainty is trickier. Our brains are built to be efficient, they categorize, assume, learn, repeat and create habits and rules. It is work to notice – really look at things, consider them outside of their familiar context or history or purpose. Auto pilot is easy and comfortable and I catch myself slipping into it, in little ways and big ways, all the time. I see what I expect to see because subconsciously – it is already a certainty. And often I feel myself bumping up against rigidity in my thinking because I’m headed somewhere that conflicts with what my brain considers a given, a known quantity or a proven or even familiar course of action. Certainty isn’t open, it isn’t creative and it isn’t curious – it doesn’t have room for possibilities and possibilities are magic.  I wonder:

What would the world look like if we could forget everything for just a moment?

What would my own possibilities look like if I could un-know all I believe about myself?



  1. I love this posting! Very thoughtful. To me, letting go is the most important gift we can give ourselves. Forgetting about what ‘should’ be or ‘shouldn’t’ be — doing what’s inside that wants to get out — exploring those places in our minds that we might not have dared explore before.

  2. kileen smith

    My inertia is at an all time high right now!!!I I just………I can not seem to shake it!! Thank you for your insights.And,of course,your amazing talents!!

  3. Sallie Kane

    Hi Ann, I want to say thank you for inspiring me to stop procrastinating and create. Your projects gave me the spark I needed. That was almost two years ago, I’m now commited to producing at least one piece of art a day. I’ve made a commitment to this and post a pic each night to keep myself accountable. Your Big Creative Year is now MY big creative life!!! Sallie

  4. Ruth Hoefert

    I am coming up on the end of a period of uncertainty. I started a new job in February after 29 years at the last one. It definitely shows you all the routines- good and bad-that you have been dealing with! I believe it will influence my creativity for the better!

  5. “if I could unknow all the things I believe about myself.” I think that is a brilliant thought and I wish I could do it. I hold myself back by being afraid of everything.

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