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Leo Wattenberg

Being bored: The easiest way to find inspiration

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There are a thousand ways to find inspiration, and the internet produced countless lists ranking individual methods, so I'll skip the standard "look at all those things, they'll inspire!"-talk here. 

Instead, I'll just point out two things: 

  1. You likely already are seeing lots of inspiring things on a daily basis - movies, games, books, interesting people and places, and whatever the internet has to offer.
  2. You likely aren't giving yourself time to process all of this. 

In the current age, it is normal to never be bored. Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Netflix et al. all have a interest in keeping you addicted to their service. If you ever do the "close a tab, open a new one and navigate to the page you just closed" thing, you are likely addicted to that particular service in which case the service has won and your inspiration has lost. 

Instead, you want to be bored for some time, long enough that you get the chance to not only work through the worries/embarrassing memories/stories it always has, but to finally touch upon actually inspiring stuff. Because all the creative content we consume and things we do is inspiring in some way, either 

  • on a very direct level (fan fictions, "scientific" analysis of game mechanics, having fictional characters fight each other, etc.),
  • on a re-set level (taking an existing story and putting it in a different settings, e.g. Titanic in space or 1984 in a medieval fantasy setting),
  • on a dramatized level (going into a store selling esoteric trinkets is a much more exciting story if you summon a demon), 
  • on an anti-level (things annoying you about existing content can be the base point of a story doing the exact opposite of the annoying thing), 
  • or perhaps on an entirely different level that hasn't come to my mind yet!

On a related note, this is also why it's important to take breaks and go on holiday. Being bored in your room only gets you so far, being bored in a place in which you have all those things to look at that the "top 50 ways to find inspiration" lists recommend can put you on entirely new creative heights.  

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