Day 22 – The Effect of Boredom on Creative Writing

Today’s Prompt is a quote:

George Madison Adams (1837 - 1920), U.S. Repre...

Image via Wikipedia

If you have nothing else to do,
look at yourself and see if
there isn’t something close
at hand that you can improve.
It may make you wealthy,

although it is more likely
it will make you happy.

George M. Adams

I love the quote. I’ll admit I can’t stand being bored. When I’m doing nothing my mind whirs and creates and wanders.

I will sometimes try to fix things around the house rather than buy new things, especially if I’ve nothing else to do. To date the list includes:


Image via Wikipedia

Bedroom drawers, used super strong glue to stop the drawer fronts falling off. Headboard (no rude comments please. It wasn’t like that, it just broke) found a spare piece of wood that was the same size as the broken part, found some nails and hammered it back on, Sideboard, hammered the broken bit back into place with hammer and nails (and it was a lot of hard work to do so!).

There’s also a deeper meaning to this quote, one in which, self-awareness and improvement is implied but let’s focus on this concept of boredom for a moment.

Boredom can sometimes create wonderful things. I have written more poetry during periods of boredom than at any other time. Yet being too bored can be bad for your creativity. We need some stimulation. Without stimulation for our creative side we can lose our inspiration. There are lots of writing books that mention avoiding too many distractions. It’s true we have to be careful not to be distracted.

Yet, if you are in the middle of your novel and you find yourself distracted by other things it may be that you need something new and refreshing. Distractions are a necessary part of life. Things don’t always go our own way and, in your writing, things usually don’t always the protagonists way either. There are obstacles for a reason. Instead of fearing them or getting frustrated we need to allow things time to breath.

I think the same goes for our hopes and dreams. If we hold onto them too tight we can crush them.

If you want to be a writer, then write, write, write and then write some more. But don’t try too hard to push forward. Enjoy the process.

Yesterday I came across `George R.R.Martin  ‘ being interviewed by `Joe Abercrombie‘, on TV. In the interview Mr Martin mentions his difficulty with deadlines and says that he is a slow writer.

Well the other week, I picked up a copy of `A Game of Thrones  ‘ by `George R.R Martin’, the first book in `A Song of Ice and Fire‘. I’d never read the books before but after watching the TV series I thought `I gotta get a hold of this guy’s books!’ I’d heard only good things about his work,

A Game of Thrones

Image via Wikipedia

I’m currently two chapters in and I’ve got to say that if he’s a slow writer then his writing is better for it.

He is an excellent writer. I was surprised when I started reading the book just how good he was. His prose is poetic and unique, yet his characters are down-to-earth and realistic.

If you look at the publications dates for each novel you will notice it’s between 2-6 years for each novel.

A Song of Ice and Fire wiki  

Maybe we can all learn something from this. It’s great to challenge ourselves to write more in a short time but sometimes a good novel needs time to be written. Instead of criticizing authors for not finishing their books quick enough let them take the time they need. The book is often better off for it. If someone feels that they can write it all in a short space of time maybe they can but not everyone can or will do this.


One thought on “Day 22 – The Effect of Boredom on Creative Writing

  1. Pingback: Who am I « Yathu's Blog

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