Who’s in the details?

tree of words and butterflies
tree of words and butterflies

I wish I had a story to tell. I can sit a draw repetitive lines for hours (that tree over there took days), but I can’t sort my thoughts to make sense of anything. I can’t help but wonder if something is wrong with me for spending so much time on little lines and not being bored for an instant.

Several writers I know talk about how their manuscripts bore them. They’ve lost interest. I never feel this way. I may be daunted and frustrated, but never bored. I can’t decide if this means I’ve written something mildly entertaining or that I’m an egomaniac. Or an idiot. If drawing hundreds of lines doesn’t bore me, maybe I don’t know boring when I see it.

Do you ever feel bored by your writing or art? What do you find boring and are you easily bored? What do you do when you are bored with your own writing or art?


For anyone curious, you can go here and see the art I used to do before taking a blade to my novel.

11 thoughts on “Who’s in the details?

  1. I believe our brains are satisfied with different things at different times. You may not have been bored with drawing hundreds of tiny lines today, but next year you might weep at the thought of doing it. Not saying you will, just noting how people change.

    I almost never seem to feel bored so it’s hard for me to understand people who do – like my kids! LOL In terms of creativity, to my way of thinking there’s always something to do, even starting a new project if you’re stuck on a current one.

    I don’t think I have the patience to draw lots of little lines like that though, so my hat off to you. 🙂

    1. You are right. The first time I make an image, i don’t mind the repetition. But if I have to make the same picture again–then it becomes tedious. No more discovery I suppose.

  2. I do bore easily. I had a heck of a time staying focused and challenged enough to finish my one (lonely) manuscript, and the second one has been languishing for more than 18 months. I know part of it is boredom, part laziness.

    But with art, things are different. Reading Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards helped me understand a lot of why drawing hundreds of tiny little lines doesn’t bore me, and helped me understand why it happens when it does. Being a writer is different altogether — the left brain has a much shorter attention span and for writing we lean on it heavily.

    But there are a couple of new projects in the works now, irons in the fire at least. So maybe I’ll do something different and more entertaining to my bored writer soul when that happens.

    I also find penning short stories helps. Or vignettes. They’re too short to be boring and trying to deliver a lot of punch in that space is tough.

  3. I remember that art. It’s what first caught my attention. How did we meet, anyway? Can’t remember.

    I never get bored with my writing. Frustrated, impatient, restless, betrayed–but never bored. I like to draw, too, and I don’t get bored with that, either. Again, frustrated with my lack of resources, impatient with my inability, but never bored.

    I tend to think that if you’re bored with something then you shouldn’t be doing it. Unless it’s, you know, child-rearing or something equally important.

  4. Elizabeth Himes

    Bored? No, restless yes. A short attention span, even more. But then I have only written short stories and poetry. And the poetry still catches me off guard, have no clue where it comes from, but when it’s done I am normally shocked that it came from me. The stories on the other hand, I’m still learning. Call me a work in progress 🙂

    1. Thanks for coming by, Elizabeth. Restlessness gets me too. Poetry I haven’t tried in years and years. Maybe we shouldn’t too closely where this stuff comes from. The mystery might be good.

      And I think we’re all a work in progress!

  5. I think of you as something of a miniaturist — certainly shows in your art, but also in your writing. From the outside looking in, I think, like, Holy crow, that would drive me NUTS to do. I’m sure Seurat, the pointillist guy, elicited those sorts of responses all the time. But bored? I can’t see it — if anything, you’re almost obsessively fascinated. 🙂

    Like somebody else said above, I get restless but not really bored. Also, procrastination masquerades as boredom sometimes.

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