No one Knows What They're Doing
I recently saw an (older) interview with Conan O'Brien. He spoke of his show's rehearsals and the creative process.
. . . We are figuring it out up until the last second. We are replacing jokes; we are completely shifting the order; we're chopping things in half; we're cutting things; we're completely writing a new ending. . . .You don't know; comedy's not a science. Science isn't a science - we're learning that all the time. I mean, nobody . . . nobody knows really what they're doing. They don't! They don't know what they're doing and there's two ways to go with that information. One is to be afraid and the other is to be liberated - and I choose to be liberated by it.
There are so many times in writing and drawing that I feel I don't know what I'm doing; sometimes I don't mind and sometimes I see it as a problem. If I place my trust and interest in my ability to find and experiment my way through, I feel much better than if I keep searching my brain for answers. The creative process is dynamic; it's not an unchanging to-do list checked off bit by bit. It's interactive, relational. The truth is I never know all the specifics of how to bring my project together (whatever it is) at the start. We simply cannot plan for discovery - and that's a good thing.
Through involvement, the process unfolds and new things are revealed. But because so much new is coming, the knowing arrives moment to moment and departs regularly. We don't need to know what we're doing (in terms of all of the specifics) to create what we want - we only need to know the feeling of the direction we wish to head.
Not knowing can be seen as a problem - leaving us feeling lost and anxious. Or not knowing can be seen as the natural place we all must stand in order to receive and discover the new . That's the exciting part of creating - the new and the next.
From the Inside