For me, hearing myself utter the words “I’m bored” is horrifying. If I’m bored, then why aren’t I using the time to write? How did I get so distracted from my craft that I have to utter the words “I’m bored” !?!
The fact of the matter is, there are times when I’m exactly like that. There are also times, when I don’t know the next step in my story, and I need to take some time to figure it out.
One of the greatest gifts my mother gave me as a kid was the “I’m bored” jar. It was an ordinary canning jar, but on the inside, there were dozens of little papers that had suggestions as to how I could eliminate my boredom. But sometimes, when the suggestions were something along the lines of “clean the bathroom”, I was less inclined to do them. Yet, I found myself doing them anyway. Why? I have no idea. Perhaps I was a mental kid, but there is something commanding about a piece of paper that has an answer to your boredom.
Writers, I give you the “I’m bored jar” … for your craft. Inside, you can write any number of possible suggestions you can come up with to nourish your creative boredom. Here is a list of examples of what you can write inside:
No matter what suggestion you pick out, there will always be something to feed your creativity. If you write them yourself, you usually start to have an idea of what you want to do the most – and by all means go ahead and do that very thing. The point of this jar, is to get you to exercise your creative muscles when you just don’t know what to do.
TASK: Set aside 20-30 minutes, and write down as many suggestions for your writing life as you can think of. Take a moment to find an old jar, label it however you see fit, and fill it to the top. At the end of this task, open the jar, take out one suggestion, and do what it tells you. I promise it won’t be in vain.