“boredom is an important stage in the creative process”
How can boredom contribute to anything?
“Boredom is a mechanism that can clear your mind and help you refocus. If I’m bored, I am doing nothing, I am being mindless. Or I go walking, do the dishes, clean the house. This unfocused time allows my mind to rest. When I pick up what I was working on, I suddenly have a fresh eye and see a whole bunch of new perspectives. Inevitably, the work I do then will be better than what I was producing earlier. Therefore, I think boredom may be an important stage in every creative process.”
Isn’t boredom supposed to be a bad thing?
“Boredom has a bad reputation. People are scared of it, maybe because it’s the result of a life that’s not stimulating, of doing things you’re not really interested in. That’s why I see a lot of parents who are deeply concerned when their children don’t know what to do. Parents tend to make up activities for them. But I don’t think you can alleviate somebody else’s boredom for them.”
What should parents do? Leave them bored?
“Yes. We would do our children a lot more service if we would allow them to sit with their boredom for a while. This way they will be forced to lean on their own inner resources and to develop their imagination. If you are left alone long enough, boredom will motivate you.”
Wendy Priesnitz is an editor at Natural Life and Life Learning, offering fresh insights and practical solutions for healthy, sustainable living. She lives and works in Toronto, Canada.