Monday, January 18, 2010

What Happens When A Writer Gets Bored?

First of all, hello everyone! Thanks so much for the warm welcome back. Honestly, it was nice taking a week or so off from everything. But by the end of week 2, I was going a little nuts.

Hence my topic today. What happens when a writer gets bored? And I mean really, really bored.

Here I was, sitting in this big, old empty house. No chores (as there was nothing in the house to wash, pick up, dust, vacuum, move, or even look at), no errands to run (there was nowhere to put anything, nothing to put it in, no bills to pay as we had just moved in, no kidlets to take places as they hadn't been signed up for anything yet), and, horror of horrors - no books to read and no computer to play on, work on, or write on.

I hit a couple book sales (I now live 5 minutes from a Borders!!!!) but those lasted me about a day a piece and I only had so much money to spend on books.

With literally nothing to spend my time on, my mind (crazily spinning on the best of days) went into overdrive. Oh, and let me tell you, I am SURROUNDED by some awesome inspiration.

We moved into this big, old farmhouse in PA - out in the country, a farm to one side of us, and fields all around. And across from the field directly in front of us, an old, red-brick church that was built in 1791 (rebuilt in 1863) that is surrounded by evergreens and a small cemetery with yellowing headstones. It is beautiful, incredible, and just begging for a story to be written about it.

So I went out and bought a notebook and a pen and started writing. And there was WIP #1. As this is a ghost story, I only write it during the day :D Cause, you know, I am a chicken with an overactive imagination and I prefer not to torture myself by freaking myself out with my own stories :D

Which left my nights free.

Which left me time to reflect on the move we had just made and all the fun things that happened along the way...and after we arrived. Including, (but by no means limited to) the many wonderful things that can happen when you imprison a dog, a cat, two kids and two parents in a car on a four day trip, or finally arriving at your destination to have the heating system in the house break two days after you get there (in freezing temps), or finding out a week after you get to your new home that your moving truck won't be there for another three weeks.

Which left me thinking about all the weird stuff that tends to happen to me on a daily basis. Which left me thinking of 33 years of weird/strange/funny/interesting/awesome or just plain "you've-got-to-be-kidding-me-you-have-the-worst-luck-in-the-world" type things.

And WIP #2 was born :)

Then I remembered the WIP I had started for whopping 2213 words. I thought it might be a good idea to add to it, as I still like the story I was working on. And I had some time on my hands :D

And WIP #3 was on its way.

Now, I didn't get very far into any of them. I did have two very bored children (running around a big house scot-free is only fun for a week or two). But I quite enjoyed myself, scribbling away in the corner of my empty living room.

My notebook is hilarious. I have a page or two of WIP #3 followed by half a page of WIP #2 and 4 pages of WIP #1, and so on. I just couldn't make my brain focus on one story. Apparently I had denied it too long and to punish me it started shooting out words willy-nilly and woe be to anyone who got in the way of the pen.

My husband looked at the notebook and asked, "Are these short stories?" And I said, "No...just the product of very bored writer."

What happens to you, my fellow writers, when you are unbelievably bored? Does your brain go so far into withdrawals that it starts spinning out of control and spewing random stories at any piece of paper that will hold still? Or does it shut down completely, so traumatized by lack of exercise that it freezes at the very sound of a word?

I hope I am not the only writer in the world that starts staring at blank napkins with a mad gleam in my eye while my fingers feverishly search for a pen...cause that would just be embarrassing :D


C. N. Nevets said...

Boredom is the killer for me. I shut down completely and can think about nothing creative, not even the fact that I should probably be doing something productively creative.

'Course, could be a chicken 'n' egg thing -- that I only truly get bored when my brain reaches a point where it decides to shut down. lol

Michelle Gregory said...

lol. i've never had 4 stories going in a notebook,but then i've never been without my computer. if i were, i probably would do the same thing.

when i'm bored with my wip, i read or fiddle with my blog or start a short story that no one will ever see.

Cher Green said...

First, I'd like to say congratulations on the move.

Boredom, there's not much around here, I continually have something going on.

I do have moments where I just don't want to do anything at all, it's like my brain just saids 'NO!', no more. At these moments, if I can make myself sit down with a pen an pad, amazing things happen.

Now that I think about it. These moments are probably my muse upset with me for not allowing her more time talking.

Nisa said...

I think I take out any extra creative in the lyric writing department. They're short and I can just go, go, go. I so know what you mean though.

The new atmosphere sounds amazing, definitely inspiring!

Christine Fonseca said...

Boredom..HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Come hang out with me - I don't have anytime for boredom! Too much going on in my life ALWAYS. Even when I am on vacation in HI - plenty to do, see, experience. When I have down time, I try to live life to the fullest - I hike, walk, experience. And yea, stories abound when that happens. And yes, I have a file full of potential story ideas.

I can't really write anything until the story is "ready" to be that usually means just one story at a time for me!

Best of luck with all the stories - it should keep you busy for a while. HAVE FUN!! (And I can't wait to read them.)

Michelle McLean said...

lol yeah, boredom is no longer a problem :D so it may be awhile before I get very far in any of those stories. LOTS to do now. Projects looming...and somehow no matter how many boxes I unpack, it still doesn't look like I'm getting anything done. Hmmmm.......

Liza said...

Like you, I of conscious...some pretty neat stuff surfaces sometimes.

Elana Johnson said...

Facebook. Unfortunately. I need to look at my boredom in a more positive light, apparently.

Michelle McLean said...

Oh believe me, if I'd had a computer I doubt seriously I would have written much, if anything :) But take it all away get a notebook full of mad scribblings ;-D

ali said...

ROFL that is A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Have fun on ALL your new projects!

Rebecca Knight said...

When I get bored, I turn into a total procrastinator and do everything BUT write. Reading, surfing the web, petting my cat, wandering around aimlessly... it's not pretty.

We missed you :D! Your move sounds like it was pretty special. Hopefully, you're getting settled in now :).

L.T. Elliot said...

I get bored sometimes too. What I do? I have to force myself to work. When that doesn't work, I do something just selfish and fun.

But there are many a day when I love that falling-in-love-with-an-idea-and-a-napkin.

Jovanna said...

I'm not a full time writer, but I love writing. Just to get those itches out. See what happens. Get that idea down. Tends to happen more when I ought to be doing something else more important - but that blank paper napkin calls me and the piece of paper galls me.

As of today, I have more than 8 notebooks full of either story ideas or stories being written all at the same time. There are more on my computer too. Oh, the joy of procrastination and a brain on overdrive!