Writing Tip #100

Embrace boredom. From time to time (but, surprisingly, not very often), my kids will come into the room, slump into a chair, and mutter, “I’m bored.” Unlike some of my mom-friends who will no doubt respond with, “Bored? Well, I’LL give you something to do…,” which usually prompts said kids to bolt from the room, I reply, “You’re bored? Good. It’s good to be bored sometimes.”

I’ve never been a fan of keeping my kids constantly busy or enrolling them in tons of activities. I’ve also been known to declare periods of “no screen time” in the house — no computers, video games, etc. I’ve discovered over the years that when faced with “absolutely nothing to do” (as if that were such a thing…), my kids have managed to find something constructive to keep them busy — I’ve found them, at one time or another, picking up a book to read, kicking around a soccer ball, or, in the case of my daughter whom I discovered in her room last night, writing a screenplay. Or sometimes I just find them staring into space — and that’s totally cool with me.

As a writer, I learned to embrace boredom a long time ago. It’s usually when I’m doing nothing in particular, like lying on the couch or in bed, or doing something mundane or habitual, like taking a shower or going for a walk, that ideas spring to life. It’s when I’m bored or my mind is clear that I notice things that I never noticed before or that I find I can take the time to weigh the pros and cons of an important decision, whether it be about life or plot structure.

So while it’s been said that an idle mind is the devil’s playground, around here I’ve found that an idle mind is just a playground, a place to roam and play and discover.

Today, I celebrate my hundredth writing tip! Thank you all for your likes, shares and comments. I look forward to one hundred more!

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4 thoughts on “Writing Tip #100

  1. My son does like to shoot the ‘I am bored’ line lately..14 …but once he gets over it I have seen him create the most amazing things; lately he is mastering every aspect of drawing Calvin and Hobbes and he is so funny how deeply he analyses what They say.
    He has his reading periods and great books… I am going to borrow your words….LOVE IT ! As a mother and as a writer….“You’re bored? Good. It’s good to be bored sometimes.” THANKS! Had to share on Face book and Tweet

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