Now, one of the things I loved about my old dog was his sheer pleasure in running about and sniffing and generally having fun out on a walk. Dogs have a tremendous capacity for simply enjoying themselves which I find irresistible - no wonder people who have dogs are apparently happier than those without. The lead was one of those long ones on elastic, but it inhibited joyfulness. Basically, the dog had to stick to the path and not chase after rabbits or stick his nose down badger holes or do any other doggy things. Of course the dog didn't run away, which would have been annoying, but it also made for a less enjoyable walk.
We can be like that as writers. We know what works and stop taking risks in our writing. Or we write with half our mind on who might read our work - parent, lover, child or friend. Or we've had success with one type of writing and are now reluctant to try something else, even though the story we have nagging at our brains won't suit that form.
Sometimes I have to tell students I want them to fail, just to get them to push their boundaries a little further than feels comfortable. Maybe the writing they produce doesn't 'work', but they will at least have learned something about their process. More usually, they surprise themselves by its success and what they can do if they take a few risks.
Personally, I'd rather write with the risk of getting lost, rather than stick to the path all the time and I'd rather read untethered writing too. Take risks! The only thing you have to lose is your time.