The Joys of Boredom

When I have fewer things on my plate, one of the first things that comes to my mind is how much I miss writing. No, not blog posts or articles for Sub-Stances. What I miss is fiction writing. Back in high school and all throughout the different phases of my childhood, I was an obsessive writer. I couldn’t stop thinking of new ideas and rush to pen them to paper. There were notebooks amongst notebooks in my bedroom. And I loved it.

Until earlier this week, it had been some stretch of time since I had done any kind of fiction. So when I sat down to give it an attempt, I was horrified to discover that this was hard. As an adult, my mind is so often occupied with to-do lists and scheduling out everything to the minute that I rarely have time to let my brain wander. Luckily it’s now been a few days and I feel much more… myself in my writing style. We’re not talking JK Rowling or George RR Martin here – but it’s comforting to create a world where the rules are your own and the characters even more so.

It’s something I’ve been thoroughly enjoying and amongst spontaneous travel to Berlin, attempts to meet and make new friends and exploring Groningen – life has been not busy at all? I’ll admit I may have moved here a bit too early. A few weeks might have been reasonable but moving to a city of 200,000 people with no work to occupy myself with.. it may not have been my best move.

Thankfully I am quite good at making work for myself. Because there’s not just the writing that keeps me occupied, but grant and funding research for both my jobs as well as the stalking out every single good work cafe in the city. Am I rationalising my way out of sheer boredom? Maybe.

But in a way boredom is good. It means that I’m motivated to do other things, find old hobbies that I had almost lost. If being bored means that I get to rediscover my love of writing – then sign me up. I’m nothing if not over eager to find out as much as I can. Now that I know I’m staying in the Netherlands for at least a year more, I have started the process of learning at least conversational Dutch. If you’re counting that means there’s at least five separate hobbies to keep up. I think that’ll do for now. But if you’re reading and thinking to yourself, “Oh I know of a way to keep her busy,” by all means – I’m open to suggestions.

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