Every time I do some creative work, I do it with the intention to create something remarkable. Sadly, the reality of the end result mostly lets me down. Apparently my intentions alone are not enough to actually get the results I want, and that makes perfect sense. In a creative process there are many factors that are decisive for the end result. Most of them are unpredictable or completely out of my hands.
A creative process can not be planned. Planning goes against the nature of creativity. Planning means setting a predetermined end goal as well as clearly quantifiable steps in between. A perfectly executed plan follows the steps as they were outlined and reaches the end goal exactly as was intended.That means that the end result, as well as all the steps in between, are known beforehand. That fits the description of a repetitive task, not a creative one.
Creativity requires freedom and space for random little wonders to happen. Creativity needs to be allowed to surprise you with the result. The outcome of a creative process needs to be something original you haven’t done before. And that is the problem with trying to plan a creative task. The end result is largely unknown and creating ‘something remarkable’ certainly doesn’t qualify as a valid goal.
“Not everything you create needs to be remarkable.“
A creative process can be guided at best. By guidance I mean I can limit myself wherever needed. For example, I can set a time limit for when I need something to be finished. Or I can limit myself to a specific subject or theme. But if I want to end up with an original end result, I cannot predetermine the exact outcome. The end result must be left open and that means a lot of uncertainty is build into the creative process.
When doing creative work I can not plan for perfection, I can merely aim for it. And yes… I often miss. My success rate is far from spectacular.
I guess that is just how it works. From the 100 create, 99 are at best average. Only one in a hundred turns out to be remarkable. But instead of seeing it as 99 failures and one success, I try to see it as 99 necessary steps to learn and prepare for creating that one remarkable piece.
I think that the better and more skilled you become at whatever creative work you do, the better that ratio becomes. I’m pretty sure that there are people so talented and trained that, out of every five pieces they create, one is remarkable. But I have yet to meet the person that has a 1:1 ratio and creates remarkable work every single time.