Guesswork is artwork

The dancer and choreographer Agnes de Mille said:

Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.

Leaping in the dark can leave you bruised. Inventing stories and acting on them can have you jumping to conclusions. But leaping in the dark can also take you somewhere you never imagined. Guesswork is artwork. And besides, isn’t it the job of writers, especially fiction writers, to invent stories and jump to conclusions?

Conviction can bring you to the page, but courage sees you through. You get to decide whether having a plan (i.e., routine, outline, schedule) is a help or a hindrance.

  • Do you feel nervous when the future seems laid out for you?
  • In what parts of your life and your work are you guessing, and leaping anyway?
  • How has guessing brought you somewhere entirely unexpected?

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