The Perks of Boredom

Since arriving in Austin three months ago, I’ve found an amazing temp agency that hooks me up with assignments between interviews for permanent jobs. So far, I’ve spent full days packing jewelry in a warehouse, checking purses at a University track meet,  answering phones in offices that only get like 6 calls a day, and  my current assignment: data entry for a local real estate company.


The common thread between them all? They’re all mind numbingly boring.

As a creative intellectual, my mind rebels at stagnation. I need input. INPUT! (Short Circuit, anyone?). So I find workarounds to make the hours bearable. I listen to audiobooks and music while I do data entry. When I’m somewhere I can’t use my iPod, I will chat the ear off anyone around me. The receptionist jobs have been the best, though, because I can get mountains of Timeless Tales work done in between calls (don’t worry, they gave me permission to play on the internet!).

But beyond that, the boredom has freed my mind in ways I haven’t felt since I was in high school. My imagination used to be so sharp, but years of being surrounded by mentally stimulating college classes, friends, and activities has actually weakened my ability to access the daydreamy part of my mind. I could still be creative–I wrote several good short stories during those years–but I haven’t been able to immerse myself the way I once could.

This is particularly significant in regards to my novel. I may have written four drafts of it, but since I wrote draft #1 the summer before college, I haven’t given it the mental space it needs to develop properly. If I’m ever going to sell it, I need to live the scenes and hear the characters in my head before I can write them correctly. I used to rehearse scenes in class, while mowing the lawn, and before I fell asleep every night. I can’t say I want this to be my life long-term, but I’m glad I have a beautiful coping mechanism to deal with it.



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