Boredom is the mother of all creativity


Don’t give me that look, I’m not kidding you. As I oft say, it is an art – to be bored and still do nothing. Not many have mastered that art. They all opt for the easier way out – they do something about their boredom. As for me, I’ve taken to writing again (Thankfully?). My joining date at Deloitte is 21st of May; gives me 69 days (calculated by you-know-who) to wile away.

Just yesterday, I got introduced to 750words.com by Shalin. Barely had I started writing a few lines, did my first intruder of the day pop into my room. “What’s that?”, came the inevitable question. I put the concept of the website across to him – the website challenges you to write 750 words a day for a month. My seemingly clear explanation was met by a frown. “And what do you get if you complete the challenge?”

“Nothing. Self-satisfaction.”

The right eyebrow went up faster than a cat on hot coals. “You believe in that shit?” I had no answer to that.

Writing, contrary to popular belief, is harder than it looks. There is a lot of talk about people being ‘spontaneous’ writers. But that is a load of crap. A writer, no matter how good he is, has to sweat it out.

I came across a nice few tips for writing:

1. Avoid distractions

Turn down the music, throw your roommate out of the room and lock the door if necessary. Also prefer a full screen text editor [Darkroom (Windows) and Textroom (Linux)].

2. Keep deadlines

No deadlines and you won’t get your work done. Writing can be both painfully dull and exhileratingly fun. You need to set a time limit for either.

3. Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut

Inspiration is not easy to come by. It’s best if you observe what is going on around you. Something or the other is bound to attract your attention.

4. No getting up

For every time you rise from your desk, the probabilty of you coming up with a quality article reduces. Breaks in between writing should be avoided – they hinder the flow. (Get your coffee to the table before you start writing)

5. Make it a habit

Schedule your writing to certain parts of the day (preferably the morning, when you aren’t tired) and avoid experimenting with text-editors, blogging services. Once you have settled down to a flow, it’s easier to get going.

6. Write your tagline first

Most writers have a line around which they decide to base their entire article. Type / write it out first. It helps keeping your head in the game.

Plinky!


I heard about Plinky (www.plinky.com) not too long ago from a friend of mine. It seems it is the ‘best way to beat a blogger’s block in existance’. Although I did raise an eyebrow at the superlative statement, I made a mental note to try out this new kid on the block; as it is, I am no genius either when it comes to blogging (or for that matter, anything else). So, I downed the coffee, rubbed the hands together and decided to pay a visit to our dearest Plinky. I do recall there was a sense of excitement that ran through my veins as I hit the return key. Could this be the end to all my troubles and, indeed, those of writers across the world?

After all the packets, routers, switches, donuts and pings were over with, the browser greeted me with a screen with a lightblub – symbolic, eh? In the top corner was the inoocent-looking signup button (Ah, of course). But all the attention was drawn to a question in the centre of the screen. “What color would you wear to your next dinner party?” Hmm … Maybe the site is ‘intelligent’ – it wants to collect some information before churning out load after load of mouth-watering prospective topics for articles. What the heck, let’s answer the damned question.

*Click* *Click*. Now that wasn’t too hard. Eh? What’s this? I need to signup? Oh well, what’s the harm. *Thumb Twiddling* *Registering* There we go.

Plinky : “Why did you choose the color that you did?”

Me : ” :S”

Plinky : “Great! Now you can share your answer with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, blah blah.”

Me : “Wtf. Where is my mouth-watering topic?”

Plinky : “That was your topic, dumbass. I just posted your answer on your blog.”

Me : “Huh?! You actually expect my readers to want to read what I’m going to wear to a party that I’m not even attending? They’ll darned all fall asleep.”

Plinky : “Well, you wanted easy blogging. That’s the price you have to pay.”

Me: “I thought you were going to give me topics.”

Plinky : “Sorry, but I’m a Blogging Wizard. Not a Blogging assistant.”

Me : “I don’t want a wizard that makes me write about colors and dolls and whether I would like a puppy for my birthday.”

Plinky : “Take it or leave it.”

Me : “I can’t let my readers bore themselves to death.”

Plinky : “bwahahaha. Too late, they are all dead.”

Moral of the story – There is NO easy way. No shortcuts to blogging. Suck it up or die in the blogging world.