Why it’s OK to be boring

Time, while being quite a useful concept, is my bug-bear.

Having made the choices I’ve made – I live in a country in which the kids come home from school for lunch; I work from home; I have what’s known in the freelance world as a ‘portfolio career’; and I choose to be available for my kids’ activities, comings and goings – I find myself  perpetually scanning the landscape for good tips on time-management and task-management.

This morning DH and I were having a discussion about the Language of Thought, having ended up in one of those conversations in which our words weren’t quite keeping up with our thoughts. My POV is that I use different kinds of thought modes depending on the state of mind I’m in. If I’ve been writing all day, I think much more in words and sentences than if I’ve just woken up, for instance, when I’m more likely to have slightly more amorphous, conceptual thought-patterns.

The point is, marrying the inner world of thought with the outside world of time can be tricky: in the same way Mr9 finds it difficult to extricate himself from a game or a project that involves concentration, I experience the switching between my inner, creative world and the external demands of the ‘real world’ as schizophrenic and uncomfortable.

The other down-side of this is that sometimes the attention I pay to my work (editing, writing), is not concentrated enough. Writing and editing require deep thinking and, frankly, being time-poor only makes this process more difficult.

The only solutions I can come up with are to look after myself. Be boring. Get enough sleep. Don’t burn the candle at both ends. Having a healthy mind can only stand you in good stead for the ultimate test of time. After all, time is the one thing that we are all up against. We hear it ticking away in the background as we watch our children grow older, see our grey hairs, experience our own bodies as they age.

When you’re a writer, having creative outbursts and sleepless nights as your brain whirs on overdrive often comes with the territory, but I think it’s good to think about how we are going to stick at it for the long haul. How do we ensure we give each moment our best, and don’t burn out?

Anyone have any good tips?


  1. Carrots… and lots of them. They’re healthy, slow to peel, slow to eat (unless you enjoy hiccups), and above all ORANGE :-).

    1. Yes, Ms X, and now you’re making me think of Annoying Orange. Thank you for hijacking my brain. Let’s see how much work gets done this afternoon, shall we?! :)

  2. “Be boring” – I love this! I think this is the only possible answer the the question that you posed at the end of this post. How do I stick at my writing for the long haul (if a year of only working on my novel is ‘long haul’, and I’m sure many many thousands would argue otherwise)? Don’t be afraid to spend money sometimes. I spend too much money on lunches and coffees with no-one but myself and my characters. This is my favourite thing to do, and it keeps the candle burning.

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