“I Don’t Know” Is the Most Powerful Statement in Writing

What I learned from writing in 2020

Assumpta Nalubowa

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Photo by Nadir sYzYgY on Unsplash

At the beginning of 2020, I decided to become a writer. It was more a move of necessity than a hobby. I had to write. I needed to write. My mind was repeatedly buzzing on and on about what would and what wouldn’t make for good article ideas. For a while, I had successfully ignored it. I figured the impulse to write would eventually quietly fade away due to neglect.

It did not.

Instead, it became louder and louder. So, here we are, and this, below, is what I’ve learned from writing thus far.

The creative path is not for the faint of heart

I have learned that the creative path is not for the faint of heart. To choose a career in the creative arts is to entrust your employment, your survival, to an acute infinite abyss of knowing nothing.

I have learned that even when you have researched your story thoroughly, to write the perfect words, to put your research into the most creative sequence of letters and sentences, you have to accept that you know nothing.

Allow me to explain

To be creative is to continuously and repeatedly let go of everything you know. It is to accept that you do not know anything so that something greater can get poured into your mind. To be creative is to consistently be bombarded with a hoard of questions that always collapse into one void answer: “I do not know.” And yet, at the same time, be rooted in the confidence that you can be a perfect vessel. A vessel through which that the unknown can come into this world.

So, every morning you wake up and do the same thing. You wake up and show up. You wake up, and show up, and wait. You ask yourself not what you are going to write about today (because that, you already know), but rather how.

“How am I going to write about what I need to write about today?”

That is the billion-dollar question, for therein lies the gist of the creative process. You ask yourself:

“How am I going to create what I need to create?”

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Assumpta Nalubowa

Yogi | Volunteer with Isha Foundation | Freelance Writer in Mental and Spiritual Wellness + Self-improvement | Work with me: assumptanalubowa@gmail dot com