Embracing Boredom

Recently, I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been more creative. For a long time, I’ve been able to churn out tons of ideas for stories. I’d put them in my notes and log them away for later. Those ideas have slowly faded. Nothing would come so easily. Maybe I’m just in a dry spell, I thought. You can’t always have inspiration 24/7. It’ll come. Just be patient. 

It never came back.

In fact, it started creeping into my writing life as well. I haven’t had writer’s block in a long time, probably not since college. My writer’s block lasted over a month. For me, that’s not acceptable.

So, what was wrong?

I wasn’t bored. You heard that right. Boredom. Since I was constantly on my phone, checking Facebook and Twitter, I staved off being bored. I could fill my thoughts with an endless feed of news stories, blogs, articles, etc… and be entertained.

According to Wired, two new studies have come out saying being bored helps with creativity and inspiration. If you think about it, boredom forces the brain to be creative because it hungers for some kind of stimulation. When you’re bored in class, you doodle or daydream, thinking of other things.

In college, I would drive giant John Deere lawnmowers for the grounds crew. Cutting their giant fields every day took hours, even days. So, while I was bored cutting the grass, I would frequently daydream about the story ideas I had. Much of my book Numinous was written in my head because of that lawnmower.

So, I’ve decided to embrace boredom. I’m not going to check Facebook or Twitter anymore. Instead, I’m dedicating time to just sit and be still. Be bored. Whether it’s a long car ride or just sitting outside with nothing to do but daydream, I’m going to let boredom be my friend.

Because creativity and inspiration are far superior to a fear of missing out or the never ending spiral of a Facebook feed.