I haven’t been truly bored in about five years. Or, in other words, since I started writing full time. Oh, sure there have been times when I had to do stuff I didn’t want to. Or times when I just genuinely wanted to lie around and do nothing. But being bored, as in unable to think of anything that would entertain me or fill my time? Really can’t remember the last time.
If I had to put a cause to it, I’d say that it’s the writing. The more writing you do—in other words, the more that you open yourself to the creative possibilities of any situation—the less easy it is to be bored. Even doing shit like waiting at the doctor’s office. You know the scene: dog-eared magazines covered in disease, something unbelievably inane on the television, people coughing or sneezing or bandaged or just generally looking miserable. And that one kid who’s unbelievably hyper. So I pass the time by imagining how different characters would react to the place.* Hint: often not well.
Places like this would have been prime grounds for boredom once, but not now. Same goes for waiting at the dentist’s office, being stuck in traffic, going on a long drive, or just those inexplicably null hours where nothing’s happening. I just…can’t get bored any more. At least not by myself. I can be bored by TV shows or movies, bored by conversations, but time by myself? Not so much. I just…leave.
I realize that this does not sound particularly well-adjusted, but I’m okay with it. I’ll take escape into a private fantasy world over being forced to watch Mass for Shut-Ins at the doctor’s office any day.**
Also, let’s not forget that the world is amazing. Like Louis CK says, “Everything’s amazing and no one’s happy”.*** Inspiration, much like its sibling, Distraction, is everywhere. At the risk of classifying myself now and forever as a hippy, you’ve just got to look for it.
I do. All the time. I can’t stop it anymore. And, honestly, I wouldn’t even if I could. Because who doesn’t want the world to be a more fascinating place?
* I sometimes read, too, but I’ve noticed lately that, since I read on a Kindle, I get a lot more questions than I get reading done. Usually I don’t mind, since anything that encourages people to show interest in reading is all right with me, but it’s hard to answer questions with a sore throat.
**Yes, this is a real thing. And that’s its actual name. I thought it was a joke when it first came on, but, alas, the world is a very strange place.
***I love that skit. I actually ripped the audio of it just so I could put it on when I’m travelling and getting frustrated. It’s very hard to take that shit seriously when someone is yelling , “And then what happened? Did you you fly through the air majestically like a bird? Did you partake of the miracle of human flight, you non-contributing zero?” Alas, NBC made YouTube take down the one I ripped, that just has the travel part, but this one has the whole piece.