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Thread: The challenge of boredom

  1. #1
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin silverrose77's Avatar
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    The challenge of boredom

    When I first got this job I have now, I thought I'd have a ton of writing time. And I do. We really only work during tax season but then, those of us on full time year round, spend the rest of the year sitting at our desks in case the phone rings. Which averages about 8-12 calls a day. Leaving LOADS of time to count ceiling tiles. At first, this was good, but as the days stretched into weeks, months, and now a year and a half, the fog of boredom is getting harder and harder to shake off. When my job was mentally challenging, it kept my brain going, now it kicks into cruise control the second I get into work and I can't seem to shake it off. I did interview on Tuesday for a better job elsewhere, but right now I'm staring at half blank page hoping I can at least fill that. I remember when I had 1000 word day goals. Can't get anywhere near that most days now. Ugh.

  2. #2
    just the worst honestly Guardian's Avatar
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    Maybe a change of scenery, take a day trip somewhere, it doesn't have to be fancy but just somewhere new to give your brain something interesting to process and shake off that fog. Explore a park you've never been to or check out a new restaurant or just go down a street you've never taken before. Hopefully the interview works out, it sounds like mental torture to continue with that lack of stimulation.
    "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process." - Vincent Van Gogh

  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Jamills08's Avatar
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    I second the day trip. Go somewhere you can people watch and day dream. I have two babies so the only thing I can do at the moment is put my kids in my gyms day care and people watch. It works bc it's a huge club so all kinds of people go there. I can gossip, get a massage etc. gotta do a complete shake up to get things going again

  4. #4
    figuring it all out _lvbl's Avatar
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    For me, reading widely, and all different kinds of authors/genres/etc. really helps the creativity get kicking. Other writers are the best inspiration!

  5. #5
    No, you're the grease monkey. Fruitbat's Avatar
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    Well, I think sometimes the mind just gets sluggish and needs a jolt.

    I recommend setting a timer for five minutes. Then hop up, jump around, zoom around the house, do jumping jacks, beat on the table, and flop about like you're insane. If you get tired before the timer dings, you can slow down but then you have to do very slow, exaggerated, ridiculous movements.

    Then you'll be in a whole different mindset and will probably have some crazy ideas.

    Come back and report the results! (Extra credit for attaching a video) :p
    Last edited by Fruitbat; 06-29-2017 at 09:51 PM.
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  6. #6
    I should be writing. Alpha Echo's Avatar
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    Another vote for getting away. Seems these days the only writing I get done is when we are anywhere but home. When I'm home, there are too many other things I feel like I should be doing.
    "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible"
    T.E. Lawrence


  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW
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    I like to do research. If I see something that excites me, I will spend hours looking up information about it.

  8. #8
    cutsie-pie Curlz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverrose77 View Post
    When I first got this job I have now, I thought I'd have a ton of writing time. And I do.
    While you're sitting there, bored, don't you imagine you're somewhere else doing something different? Write about that. Or, you could invent funny things you want to happen while you're right there, in that boring place. It may not be an addition to your WIP, but it's good exercise

  9. #9
    Watching Disney movies clek25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverrose77 View Post
    When I first got this job I have now, I thought I'd have a ton of writing time. And I do. We really only work during tax season but then, those of us on full time year round, spend the rest of the year sitting at our desks in case the phone rings. Which averages about 8-12 calls a day. Leaving LOADS of time to count ceiling tiles. At first, this was good, but as the days stretched into weeks, months, and now a year and a half, the fog of boredom is getting harder and harder to shake off. When my job was mentally challenging, it kept my brain going, now it kicks into cruise control the second I get into work and I can't seem to shake it off. I did interview on Tuesday for a better job elsewhere, but right now I'm staring at half blank page hoping I can at least fill that. I remember when I had 1000 word day goals. Can't get anywhere near that most days now. Ugh.
    I am literally in the exact same boat. I have barely any work to do here, and it makes me feel drained just sitting here all the time, and I feel like my creativity is lacking and/or I lose the motivation because I'm just so tired.

    I recently discovered it helps when I read. Not only does it engage that part of my brain, but it also leaves me with a feeling of "I can't wait to make my story this great" etc.

    I saw this was posted a few months ago. Hopefully the job search is going strong!
    "Every single thing that happens to you is preparing you for a moment that has yet to come."

    Starting over. Current WIP first draft progress: 68,000 words

  10. #10
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I understand your struggle. Yesterday I completed my final day at an internship (!!!) where I was sitting at my desk and wondering when the next task would be given to me. It was good and bad: gave me a lot of time to write and do coursework, but the "fog of boredom" you mentioned was real. Personally, I found it easier to write when I had something else I should have been doing. So, find something to do! Whether it's cleaning out your desk, filing that paperwork that stares you in the face every day, or writing a memo for work. Then avoid it and write instead best of luck!

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin bin_b0x's Avatar
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    Do other things. Write short stories, critique people's work, maybe do some blogging (even if no-one reads it).

    For me, when I find myself losing passion for my current project(s), taking a break to try something else for a short while has helped. Think of it as a literary vacation, one that will re-ignite your desire to write.

  12. #12
    almost undistractable mccardey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clek25 View Post
    I am literally in the exact same boat.
    No, you're not.


  13. #13
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    These suggestions are great-- travel, reading, writing other stuff. I find it helpful switching for a day or two to another WIP or just a concept, usually something more "upstream" in the writing process. If you've been slaving away on language or dialog, to step back and think big-picture about plot-points or character brainstorming can be liberating.

    Another trick I have, if I want to stay in my current WIP, is to write out at the beginning of each work session what I love about the scene(s) I'm about to write. It can be some setting that's interesting, or unique social dynamic I feel like I'll be able to portray well. Often whatever it is ties back to the theme that got me writing the story in the first place. Sometimes it can feel like there's a lot of blah-blah drafting you're slogging through, but usually each scene has an element or two you can get excited about. (And if not, perhaps it's ripe for pruning. )

    Hope this helps. Best of luck.

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