Dear friend,

Have you ever been bored? I was bored once.

I was fifteen and in a car with a bunch of friends driving to Michigan from Tennessee, which is a long drive.

Like all-day kind of long.

Mid-afternoon, everyone decided to take a nap. So there I was stuck in the car with sleeping friends and just a notebook and pen and the window I was sitting by. After a half hour of staring out the window, I’d had enough of just my thoughts and the passing billboards.

I just wanted to read a book. I didn’t have a book.

But I did have my notebook. I decided to challenge myself and try to write the most descriptive sentence I could come up with. I took one look at that sentence and said to myself, “This could be a really interesting story.”

And thus began my first novel.

Photo by cottonbro studio

Be bored

Boredom sucks. I get that. But boredom is also really good for you.

It creates an opening for your mind to process things that it hasn’t processed yet. Boredom opens an opportunity for you to think about things you want to think about that you haven’t thought about before. It also creates a drive to do things you haven’t previously had the motivation for.

Boredom gives the left side of your brain (the logic side) a break and lets the right side (the creative side) do a bit of work. This video on boredom notes that we are more creative when our minds are allowed to wander.

If you’re interested in how boredom works scientifically and how to use it to the best advantage this video by YouTuber Pete Judo is pretty helpful. Pete talks about how our brain responds to boredom and the conclusion he comes to is to shake up your routine. To read more about changing up your routine check out my post on inspiration.

We are more creative when we

allow our minds to wander.

The moral of the story

So, what was the point of my story?

Boredom creates opportunities.

My boring car ride turned into many opportunities I would not have otherwise had. My love of storytelling would likely still be hidden. I wouldn’t have become as good of friends with many of my closest friends who are also writers.

I certainly would not have moved to Ohio to learn how to become an author.

Boredom might be uncomfortable for a little while, but the impact it has when we allow a little of it into our lives is irreplaceable.

Go try it. Lie on the living room floor for an hour with your phone turned off. Go for a drive with nothing to listen to. Be bored for a bit and see what comes of it.

Maybe you’ll find something you’re passionate about from the experience.

Sincerely,

R. J. Catlin