I have a troubled relationship with planning. I see it as teetering on a scale between dubious advisability and abject futility. Nevertheless, I do recognize the need for it, even if the plan is nothing more than a map on which to plot course corrections.
Nothing lasts forever. And nothing’s static. So, immutable plans are doomed to failure, unyielding as they are to change, evolution, progress, and reality. Because that’s true, planning is as creative an act as any other. Think about it … The verb most often used with plan is create, as in: “We have to create a plan!” That’s not true because making the plan requires creativity. It’s true because following the plan through to completion requires tremendous — and constant — creativity.
In the absence of crystal balls, Ouija Boards, or time machines, there’s no way to tell what’s going to happen at any stage of any plan. To think otherwise is self-deceiving and self-defeating. Variables, vagaries, and verisimilitude are as real and fluid as time.
Plans are great ideas. But they’re not creative endeavors. And creative endeavors don’t care about plans, nor do they rely on them. They depend only on The Three Cs: calling, commitment, and constancy. If creative work is your calling, there’s no resisting it. There’s no predicting it. And there’s certainly no planning it. The work simply is in you, of you, and defines you.
Creativity affords only two options: Live it or ignore it. To ignore it is to defy the calling. Once possessed of (or by) a calling and a commitment to it, you owe it your constancy. You abide it. You abide by it. You intractably stay your course. And you recognize by your allegiance to The Three Cs that the very notion of planning can be, more times than not, absurd.
If you doubt that, ask yourself this question: How many stories of the Muses contain references to planning?
I rest my case.
— Image by OpenClips, courtesy of pixabay.com.