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Allow yourself to be bored

Iain Broome
Iain Broome
1 min read

From the excellent Bobulate:

I thought of this recently while in a traffic jam: the sort where a two-hour drive took more than six hours. These unavoidable moments are a complete standstill of hope and forward emotion. And for those who choose not to ride the shoulder, wander the median, make friends with fellow maroonees, we are bored. We daydream. By default, our minds wander.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

Like the rest of the developed world, I’ve fallen into the habit of checking my phone when I have nothing to do and generally filling my spare time with stuff. Rarely do I allow myself to sit and be alone with my thoughts. I have free time, but I am never bored.

Which is ridiculous, because my best ideas come when I allow my mind to wander, or when I really do have no other option but to think. Like in the shower. Walking to work. Falling to sleep. In those moments, I am physically forced into boredom.

And that’s when the magic happens. No distractions. No technological temptation.

It’s bloody marvellous.

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I'm the author of the novel, A is for Angelica. Every week, I send Draft Mode, a newsletter full of tips and tools that help you improve your craft and promote your writing.