Being bored is good

May 5, 2016

by Ravi Raman

I’m doing it. This daily blogging thing.

You’ll see me write a bunch of stuff for the foreseeable future, starting with the month of May. Some of my writing will be formal and “blog post worthy”. Much of it will be meandering streams of consciousness.

I’ve known that the way to improve in anything is to do just do it and do it often. Since I want to be a better writer, I’m committed to writing more.

Inspired by Julia Cameron’s, The Artists Way, I’m starting off each day with a hand-written morning page. Julia advises three pages, but I’m just doing one. I’m setting my sights low and plan to surpass them for guaranteed motivation. Sneaky I know!

This notion of moving pen across paper gets the creative juices flowing. This practice will also serve as the backbone for other more detailed and refined blog posts I write.

So, here it goes…

Here is today’s page. Don’t worry, I transcibed it below. I doubt any of you could read my hieroglyphics anyway.

Morning pages aren’t hard. Getting them going is more about not being distracted by other things, as opposed to coming up with a brilliant or even modestly interesting topic to write.

Something always comes out of artistic value, if you give it the time and space it needs to get out.

The problem is, distractions are all around. It seems like even when I wake up at 6 AM, the chirping birds and dull noise of rumbling cars are transpiring to get me outside to investigate. My pen pulls away from the paper by a seemingly invisible force.

I’m heartened by something I’ve heard, that creativity is a muscle, and like any muscle it can be made healthy through training. Part of this training, I believe, is learning how to be bored.

When you are bored, it is as if the mind opens up to take in more data. More data means greater listening, seeing and noticing things that would otherwise drift by. Creativity arises naturally as a result.

I practice being bored all the time. During long hikes and runs and yoga practices. While meditating. In the midst of reading a book that is 120 pages too long.

I practice being bored all the time but still not nearly enough. I still reach for my phone first thing in the morning. I still enjoy watching documentaries on Netflix (watched Foxcatcher this week) while eating dinner. I check my half-dozen social networks maniacally even though I know nothing crucial will come from them.

I still notice resistance against being bored, but this has brought me to a realization. Perhaps my progress is better measured by not looking at the things I’m failing at, but focusing on the little things I am doing right.

After all, I did take the time to write this page, without checking Facebook once along the way.

Thanks for reading! 🙂 If you enjoyed it, leave a comment or share with others. It would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see the story.

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