The Trouble With Assumptions

I think that the trouble with making assumptions is that you believe they’re true even when they’re not. That’s especially a problem when you’re making assumptions about yourself. Please do not misunderstand me–it is certainly a huge problem when we make assumptions about other people, too, but in this blog post I’m talking about issues that come from making assumptions about ourselves, how we work, and our creative process.

For example, one of the interesting developments that’s come out of this extended period of being alone with myself is I’m noticing some interesting assumptions I’ve been making about how I work most efficiently. And it’s also coming to my attention that some of these assumptions are, well, wrong.

For instance, for a looooooong time I’ve made the assumption that my best creative time was in the morning. I don’t know why exactly, since I’m not especially a morning person. But it was an iron-clad, certain thing. If I wasn’t creative in the morning, then I wouldn’t be creative at all that day.

By the way, it was also an excuse. If I wasn’t creative in the morning, then I didn’t have to be creative at all that day, because of course I couldn’t. But I digress.

So, when I started doing some non-creative work, and I could set my own hours for working, I, as a matter of course, decided to work in the afternoon. That way my morning would be free to let my creative flag fly before I switched back to being a muggle.

Except that’s not what’s been happening.  And I finally realized that I’ve been almost waiting out the morning, waiting for the time of the non-creative work to come. It felt like it was hanging over me, like a weight that was about to drop.

I decided to question my assumption about how I work and change it up. Heck, I wasn’t being productive anyway, so why not?  Why not just get the other work out of the way and then write and be creative and flit like a little bee from flower to flower? Why not see what happened?

And guess what? It turned out to be a good move.  Getting my other work done earlier feels like I have a get out of jail free card for the rest of the day once it’s finished, and that gives me the mental freedom I need to be creative. Even better, I also find that I actually do get some creative stuff in before I start.

In other words, changing up my schedule, and not operating the way I THINK I operate, but listening to how I actually operate, worked.

So, I guess all of this is just to say, challenge your assumptions about yourself. Don’t assume that something you’ve always believed about yourself is true. Because sometimes, my dears, you’re wrong.




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