“I’m bored.” If I said it once I must have said it a thousand times during my childhood. I was an easily bored child.My boredom forced my mother to be creative and later it forced me to be creative. Instead of doing what I always did, or what the other children were doing I came up with my own games showing creativity in the design of them. One of these games was lepers. This can be seen here in the child’s voice and here in an adult voice.
Not only does boredom lead to creativity in childhood it is also the catalyst for change in chosen artistic pursuits. In fact, I would go so far as to say that boredom is a necessity in order to think outside the norm, activating our creativity in numerous ways. In art it may be a new technique of applying the paint, a different way of firing the clay. In writing it may be applying techniques that as an artist you don’t normally use in your writing.
In my own work there are numerous examples. My thesis for my masters by research was born from boredom with myself and my story. My creative work had come to a full stop as a result and I feared readers would be as bored as I was. I have searched and found techniques that allowed me to renew my passion and time will tell if I have achieved as a result a compelling sequel memoir to follow the memoir of our time in Vanuatu which was full of drama and tension.
In blogging also, boredom with the same format would see me experiment with different styles. Although I am not a poet I would try my hand at poetry. Not knowing the criteria for the different types of poetry I would just write and hope it worked but I wanted something more. As well as the imagery created by the words I wanted a visual poem that also displayed the emotion behind the piece. Called Renewal I show the slide downwards into homelessness and the descent to rock bottom and then with a V, I show both the victory for the homeless created by a single woman, Veronika, and represent the first letter of her name.
Having realised that boredom is both an obstacle and the means to freeing creativity I look further to see whether this has also been found by others and I am not surprised by the findings. A study conducted at Pennsylvania University by Gasper and Middlewood found that people that were bored outperformed people that were contented with their positioning. Another study from Central Lancashire University (Mann and Cadman) divided their participants into three groups and again found that those doing the most boring task (reading a phone book) had the highest levels of creativity.
It can only be concluded that the process of boredom (or the associated daydreaming which often accompanies it) makes people seek new ways of changing a current situation that is lacking and will look at creative ways to adjust a situation.
In response to Daily Post’s Discover prompt.