UNCERTAINTY (read time 1:19) The biggest challenge for the artist & entrepreneur is “uncertainty,” because creativity itself is uncertain. The very nature of creativity is uncertainty. Otherwise it wouldn’t be called creativity—it would be called certainty. When an artist approaches the canvas with a dripping brush, she’s uncertain. When a songwriter jots down a lyric, he’s uncertain. When an entrepreneur makes a tough decision, she’s uncertain. And when a manager assures his client that everything will be ok, he’s really uncertain.A person with a real job wakes up in the morning into certainty; a start time, an end time, and a paycheck. When an artist or entrepreneur wakes up in the morning, uncertainty is sitting impatiently at the foot of the bed with a list of unfinished works and unsolved mysteries...that only creativity can solve. And you can forget the certainty of a paycheck!So the truly committed artist and the most successful entrepreneur live in a perpetual state of uncertainty. No wonder they’re always a little edgy, no wonder they have quirky personalities, no wonder they rarely have time, and no wonder...everyone loves them. Certainty is safe and dependable—Uncertainty is risky and speculative.Certainty makes folks feel comfortable—Uncertainty makes folks squirm a little.So much we can learn from Uncertainty—So much we already know about Certainty.Uncertainty includes ALL possibilities—Certainty is limited to those options that are Certain.The capricious works of Uncertainty may keep fans & customers curious and coming back for more. The predictability of Certainty may bore fans & customers into moving on...in search of Uncertainty.It’s Certainly possible that your degree of success as an artist or entrepreneur is in direct proportion to your willingness to accept and embrace Uncertainty.Of course, I’m not certain about any of this, how about you?
J Michael Dolan

UNCERTAINTY (read time 1:19)

The biggest challenge for the artist & entrepreneur is “uncertainty,” because creativity itself is uncertain. The very nature of creativity is uncertainty. Otherwise it wouldn’t be called creativity—it would be called certainty. When an artist approaches the canvas with a dripping brush, she’s uncertain. When a songwriter jots down a lyric, he’s uncertain. When an entrepreneur makes a tough decision, she’s uncertain. And when a manager assures his client that everything will be ok, he’s really uncertain.

A person with a real job wakes up in the morning into certainty; a start time, an end time, and a paycheck. When an artist or entrepreneur wakes up in the morning, uncertainty is sitting impatiently at the foot of the bed with a list of unfinished works and unsolved mysteries...that only creativity can solve. And you can forget the certainty of a paycheck!

So the truly committed artist and the most successful entrepreneur live in a perpetual state of uncertainty. No wonder they’re always a little edgy, no wonder they have quirky personalities, no wonder they rarely have time, and no wonder...everyone loves them.

Certainty is safe and dependable—Uncertainty is risky and speculative.
Certainty makes folks feel comfortable—Uncertainty makes folks squirm a little.
So much we can learn from Uncertainty—So much we already know about Certainty.
Uncertainty includes ALL possibilities—Certainty is limited to those options that are Certain.
The capricious works of Uncertainty may keep fans & customers curious and coming back for more.
The predictability of Certainty may bore fans & customers into moving on...in search of Uncertainty.

It’s Certainly possible that your degree of success as an artist or entrepreneur is in direct proportion to your willingness to accept and embrace Uncertainty.

Of course, I’m not certain about any of this, how about you?


COMMENTS


Posted By Aaron Wolfson
((((((((( OO ))))))))))
Words and thoughts are based in the known. The known is static. Creation is motion. It is occurring. It is the now. This brand new moment. Eternal and beyond capture. We may observe it, and be in it's presence. And when we become it, we disappear, and creation exists. We merge into the true essence of who and what we are. And when we render a sense of what this is, and what this feels like; through our art, people will respond to it; as it reminds them of who and what they really are........


Posted By wichampi
fragile times we live in
I didn't read the other comments first on purpose...usually I do. You know, all the inhabitants of the Earth are living in such fragile uncertain times.I feel we have to work hard and steady on ourselves to remain calm and strong.I love my work and have always proceeded with enthusiasm and the knowledge (from experience) that nothing is 100% certain and I have learned to be positive and realistic.We just never know what is around the corner.I am certain that creative arts are my thing. That in itself is a blessing


Posted By Alan Vochec
uncertainty
Thank you Michael, my bothersome fizzles just faded out into certainty. <3 Sometimes I get a feeling you can read my mind. ;-)


Posted By Teena
uncertainity
My husband squirms a lot with me the artist. But I am understanding HIM more and that's for certain! You always encourages me to keep going my creative direction. Thank you Michael


Posted By FreddieBrown
Taxes and 6 feet under
I am certain that I prefer the limitless possibilities of uncertainty to the limited possibility of certainty. I will kick uncertainty to life at the foot of the bed each morning. That is how we roll. LOVE today's write up Michael. You're a gem just like what you write.


Posted By Vamplified
SCHOOL'S OUT!
Here's where I AM not certain. Should I add SCHOOL'S OUT...Recess... Hare Line :) "Late for Tea" A Tribute to the March Hare- Sundone Fog? (like London Fog) OR Should I add THE BLACK WIDOW- Along Came A Spider- Curds and Whey? Hhmmm.. better ask Alice. Here's my Black Widow poem... Meet the Widow Twins- Identical in Mind- Born on the Same Day- Around the Same Time- They Mate They Kill- They Love It to Death- Inherit the Will- Take All That is Left- While Taking A Bath- She Watched Dwight Fry- With Poison Lips - She Let Him Die- Welcome to My Nightmare- That Was Curds Now What's With Whey?- She Lured Steven "Come Out and Play"- As Cold Ethel Hit His Skin- She Lit a Torch With Evil Grin- Welcome to my Breakdown!


Posted By Roy Maffezzoli
Uncertainty vs Certainty
"Uncertainty includes ALL possibilitiesóCertainty is limited to those options that are Certain." Fantastic line Michael! ;)


Posted By Michelle Kiehne
Uncertainty vs. Certainty
You hit the nail on the head! Consistent and focused uncertainty may lead to prosperity. Such an inspiring and reinforcing blog. "Thank you" for the aspiration!


Posted By Precariat
Neoliberal uncertainty
One aspect of this discussion left out is the condition forced by 'free' markets onto people to make them uncertain. No health insurance, at will employment, it's challenging enough holding the normal job down to pay rent let alone create on top of that. Uncertainty arises when we are all forced by the market to internalize business logic, putting our life savings into uncertain 401ks, or gambling with other investments. Uncertainty is nice in artwork, open to interpretation and playing with expectations, but as for one's life it sucks not to know how your going to meet rent or having no health insurance. Certainty is good for entertainer's and entrepreneurs they pander to peoples desires, whereas art challenges.


Posted By Rich Meldon
Face Fear with Confidence
The Certainty we share is that life is uncertain! Living in the Moment without procrastination--The challenge we share is to avoid the safe road-but rather to pursue what is important in life with confidence putting aside the fears that tempt us to set the bar lower! The Certainty of a "real job" is that you are an "at will employee" which has its own definition of Uncertainty. Maintaining continuous employment is based on delivering value. If the expected value is not delivered-then the relationship will certainly end! --Job Security is an illusion except for those that have a guaranteed union or tenured employment. Yes-Uncertainty is always in my face! so is fear! Living the Life you love is the vision we share!


Posted By Isaiah
Uncertainty
A place I live all the time as a artist .it keeps me hungry literally


Posted By Bob Weinberg
Creative mandate
From the time I was a little kid, the only thing I've been certain about is my need to create. A blank sheet of paper (back then) or computer screen (now) has always seemed more of an invitation than a threat. C'mon, kid, let's see what you got. One more once again ...


Posted By jim farrell
creativity
Creativity is blue collar work with a heavy dose of discipline. IF YOU WANT TO SEE SOME RESULTS. Google Farrellworks you tube.


Posted By Paula Maya
UNCERTAINTY
I love the way you write Michael! Very poetic. I, myself, identify with artists such as Bjork. Even after being crowned as a super-star, she still felt that there were no guarantees. As she put it in this interview, she was never sure she would be able to write another good song. And even Agatha Christie. I just read her autobiography. She went through the same thing every time before writing a new book.


Posted By Val
Creativity and Certainty
What is creativity, what is certainty? I think that creativity is born from ideation and the value of their creation is defined by society, who determines whether it will live or die. I agree that it should not be linked with certainty, but I think I understand the relationship with the creator, who, without certainty and conviction may never express their creativity. Some people never take chances because of uncertainty, living their entire life without ever expressing their creativity and pick the 9 to 5 life, which is uncertain, especially in these times!


Posted By Aaron Wolfson
Uncertainty
The known is static. The unknown is motion. Actuality is only witnessed while observing. To witness the unrecognizable, one must let go of the known. Life is creation occurring. Light passes through that which is transparent. When you are not knowing, you are being what is. ;-) Aaron Wolfson


Posted By Sheldon Dingwall
Uncertainty
You really hit the nail on the head with this one - as usual. Uncertainty is both a blessing and a curse for me. Blazing my own trail is hugely motivating, it's the bumps along the way especially when they cluster or line up without break that I find tiresome. That and uncertain finances...


Posted By Bjorn Sorlie
Uncertainty
Wow, this really jerked some tears of confirmation. Thanx for the heads up. Enlightening my brain to that snag triggered an age old certainty to let go. You are indeed brilliant.


Posted By vontanner
Posted By Steve Ragland Uncertainty Wow, I usually empty my spam without looking but decided to
S-How creative is anything if you already know with certainty just how it will turn out. If you have 'all' the tools and know exactly where each creative journey is going, then you are no longer creative, you're 9 to 5 ing your life under the pretense of being so creative.


Posted By Steve Ragland
Uncertainty
Wow, I usually empty my spam without looking but decided to peruse through it today and this blog is definitely a gem. As a performing artist and studio owner no words were truer spoken as this occupation called professional musician is definitely faith based. When I put it down musically every week in front of people their reaction helps determine my getting booked the next week and leading to new opportunities. There is no safety net. If I don't play, I don't eat and if the gig gets rained out, I cannot recoup that lost. But I would not want to trade this for a 9 to 5 ever again. I am certain that my skills have increased as a result of uncertainty. Striving to be better because I am uncertain of who the next best player is to take my spotlight. Uncertainty is the motivation that makes you perform or excel at a higher level.


Posted By Gardengal
certainty
Ah, here's the rub, Stephen Hawkins (and me) are certain that there is no God. 'Cept maybe the God within us. Tom Robbins wrote when something good happens that's god, when something bad happens, that's the devil - I like Tom R. These days there is no certainty in work and financial reward. At least creative work has its own rewards.


Posted By D G Roush
certainty
Well put "Faith"...thanks for the blogs Mike!


Posted By Tod Moses
Uncertainty
(sorry but I just have to say it) In the imortal words of Curly Howard... "Soytenly!"


Posted By Rachel
Uncertainty..???...
I was just studying Cezanne's works and one of his journal's was just like us...feeling he was crazy to paint, but hoping he had advanced a little in his efforts...never knowing he would be so favoured to us in this day...it's like that...sometimes you may never see the results to your love efforts...but you keep heading up the rocky mountain, in the heat, in the rain....because your'e just not finished yet. Rachel


Posted By Bluefish
Uncertainity
The only thing I would disagree with is, when you stated that when a manager assures his client that everything will be ok, he is really uncertain. When I book my band that I manage for a client, I feel very certain that everything will be ok based on the people I work with who are very professional and based on my experience, everything will go ok. But to paraphrase what Harvey said above, I'm very confident and assured based on my experience.


Posted By Tony O'Malley
Uncertainty
Dear J Michael, Thanks for the those reassuring words of wisdom. Best wishes, Tony (Brussels)


Posted By Harvey Sid Fisher
A syllogistic leap
J, I see creativity as quite diametrical to your view. You present three conditons: certainty, uncertainty and creativity and you link creativity with uncertainty when creativity is the most powerful stage of certainty extant. It is the ne plus ultra of confidence and assurance. It is absolute conviction. I have written many songs and when I rush to find a pencil and paper to 'jot down a lyric', there is excitement and fireworks in its capture. Uncertainty might come to those who are beginning their craft and do not have all the necessary tools. They never soloed a plane before. They are too inexperienced and indecisive about choosing the putter or the wedge to get the golf ball to the hole. They lack the chops on their first date to say "I would like to take a shower with you".


Posted By Faith
certainty
I'll take UNcertainty any day because ya know what? NOTHING is certain, even a 9-5 job and a paycheck many have found out is not certain. Certainty is an Illusion. I do what I have to do (legally!) to get the income, but I am never certain of how long that will last. Creativity is a God-thing, a God-given gift that we can access. And only God is certain. So all my fruit is in one basket: creativity and the Creator. And yes. I'm certain.

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• EVERY SINGLE DAY (Read time 0:51)
• The New Marketing Dept. (Read time 0:23)
• O Captain! My Captain! (Read time 0:57)
• THE WORKHORSE AND THE FILLY (Read time 0:21)
• KEEP YOUR BOOTS MUDDY (Read time 0:37)
• When UR Best Effort Fails (Read time 0:29)
• STEEP CLIMB (Read time 0:27)
• SILENCE OF CHAMPIONS (Read time 1:13)
• WHY IT’S NOT WORKING (Read time 0:31)
• THE BUCK STOPS HERE (Read time 0:51)
• WE ALREADY TRIED THAT (Read Time 0:29)
• CHOOSE ONE (Read time 1:09)
• COMMIT NO PETTINESS
• LEGWORK (Read time 0:15)
• ARTISTS vs. ENTREPRENEURS (Read time 1:03)
• 5-YEAR SURPRISE! (Read time 0:43)
• MID-YEAR TO DO LIST (Read time 0:53)
• ALL IN (Read time 0:33)
• WHAT IF NOTHING CHANGES? (Read time 0:21)
• WADDA JACKASS! (Read time 1:07)
• WHAT ARE U SO AFRAID OF? (Read time 0:57)
• DON’T THINK! (Read time :31)
• Why incumbents rarely invent the future (Read time 1:13)
• THE BOX (Read time 0:33)
• STAND UP IN THE BOAT! (Read time 0:27)
• YOU’RE DREAM’N! (Read time 0:57)
• KNOWING (Read time 0:33)
• CONCEALED CONCERNS (Read time 0:47)
• TAMING THE $$$ BEAST (Read time 1:17)
• FAKING IT (Read time 0:17)
• STAYING POWER (Read time 0:47)
• 0:20 SECONDS OF INSANE COURAGE (Read time 0:51)
• GRASS (Read time 0:41)
• WITH BLOODY FINGERS I WRITE ON (read time 0:27)
• I'LL DO ANYTHING BUT THAT! (Read time 0:47)
• ASS ON THE LINE (Read time 1:37)
• MARKETING BLUES (Read time 0:47)
• THE LONG RUN (Read time 0:39)
• CREATIVITY TO THE RESCUE (Read time 2:07)
• THE RACER'S EDGE (Read time 0:41)
• NO WAY NO HOW! (Read time 0:27)
• THE SMART MONEY (Read time 0:25)
• YOU’RE CRAZY! (Read time 1:19)
• DANCING WITH YOUR DEVOTEES (Read time 0:39)
• LIBERTY!
• NO DOUBT (Read time 1:17)
• WHAT EVER YOU DO, DON'T TURN AROUND (read time :39)

2011 Posts:
• GRAND FINALE!
• 2-DOZEN WAYS TO MAKE 2012 BETTER!
• DEAR PRUDENCE (read time :43)
• COMPLAIN ALL YOU WANT! (read time :23)
• IMAGINE (read time :57)
• WEEKENDS (read time :33)
• PIXAR LETTER (read time 1:03)
• RESISTANCE CAN KILL (read time 1:37)
• AMATEURS vs. PROS (read time :57)
• REQUIEM FOR A HONEYMOON (read time 1:09)
• CAN YOU FEEL IT? (read time 1:47)
• BRANCUSI'S VICTORY CRY  (read time :57)
• SAIL AWAY (read time :43)
• ARTISTS RULE! (read time 1:23)
• USE IT OR LOSE IT (read time :53)
• START HERE (read time 1:27)
• UNCERTAINTY (read time 1:19)
• STOPPED BY CALAMITY (read time 1:37)
• ART (read time :57)
• AUDACIOUS & UNSTOPPABLE (read time 2:37)
• WRITERS BLOCK (read time 1:47)
• BLOW AWAY DISTRACTIONS (read time :31)
• WAY OF THE CREATIVE WARRIOR (read time :27)
• GOOD BYE LADY LUCK (read time 1:53)
• CONFIDENCE IS EVERYTHING (read time 1:23)
• DEADLINE OR DIE! (read time 1:53)
• THE WIZARDS CLOCK (Read time :47)
• CREATIVE PRIVACY (read time :43)
• THE KOBE IN ME (read time 1:13)
• READY, SET, GO! (read time :47)
• EVE OF DISTRACTION (read time 1:29)
• KEEP YOUR FEET UP! (read time 1:09)
• JUST ONE MORE FOOT (read time 1:57)
• MY MUSE DOESN'T CARE (read time :39)
• MISUNDERSTOOD (read time 1:19)
• DUMP IT! (read time 1:19)
• IS IT WORTH IT? (read time :49)
• THE 24 HOUR RULE (read time 2:21)
• MONK ON THE MOUNTIAN (read time: a lifetime)
• “IT” (read time 1:37)
• BORN TO SHOW (read time 3:37)
• THE STING OF REJECTION (read time 1:13)
• LESSON FROM A ROCK STAR (Read time 0:27)
• THUMB POWER (read time 1:59)
• EXPOSING THE WIZARD (read time (1:13)
• HEY, WHAT’S THE BIG IDEA? (read time 1:37)
• THE WAITING WARRIOR (Read time 0:41)
• PLAY AT YOUR OWN RISK (read time :57 sec)
• AUTONOMY HIGHWAY (read time :35 sec)
• LIMPIDITY (read time :45 sec)
• WHY I MEDITATE (read time 1:00 min)
• YOUR SHADOW AGENDA (Read time 0:59)
• WHY I SOLD MY BUSINESS (read time 6:33)
• BARENAKED PROBITY (read time 1:47 min)
• THE FANTASIES OF POSSIBILITY (read time 4:17 min)
• THE TUG OF WAR (read time 5:09 min)