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How boredom can spark creativity

Our mind when we're bored

When we're bored, two key things are happening in our minds: One is a 'desire bind' where someone wants to do something but not anything that's on offer. The other is when your mind is itching to be engaged.

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How boredom can spark creativity

How boredom can spark creativity

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20200522-how-boredom-can-spark-creativity

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

Boredom sparks creativity

Boredom is one of the most important factors in creativity. Boredom is a productive state as long as you don't let it get to you.

Agatha Christie said there is nothing like boredom to make you write. Neil Gaiman advises aspiring writers to let themselves get so bored that the mind has nothing better to do than tell itself a story.

Our mind when we're bored

When we're bored, two key things are happening in our minds: One is a 'desire bind' where someone wants to do something but not anything that's on offer. The other is when your mind is itching to be engaged.

Don't fill the void

Our first instinct when we experience some boredom is to fill it with Netflix lists, Instagram feeds, and TikTok videos. Riding out this boredom is vital though.

Boredom is not in itself creative. It's what it leads to that is significant. In the gap of boredom, you're motivated to look for something else, and there's a real chance you'll discover something new.

Allowing our minds to wander

Boredom triggers daydreaming, and that leads to creativity. In essence, boredom is not the state that is really good for the creative process. It's doing something familiar with a kind of diffused focus that allows your mind to wander.

  • Choreographer George Balanchine said he did his best work while ironing in the morning.
  • Writer Doris Lessing often took breaks from work to tidy the house or wash dishes. This aimlessness was vital to help her create her ideas.
  • Margaret Atwood found this state from birdwatching.
  • Many creatives also cite walking as being vital to their process.

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