I know how he feels. I can be really excited when I dream up the idea for a new writing project, yet when it’s time to knuckle down and start the first draft, it’s amazing how suddently I feel bored - and how many ‘interesting’ alternatives pop into my mind: Twitter, Behance (natch), Google Reader; rearranging the books on my shelf; the new Amazon package that arrived this morning; emailing a friend I haven’t spoken to for ages; doing some more “research”
Check out this list to help manage the boredom:
2. Decide beforehand when you’re going to start work. If you wait until tomorrow to decide whether to start work in the morning or the afternoon, you give yourself an opportunity to procrastinate. But if you decide to start at 9am tomorrow, when 9am comes round you have a stark choice - do your work or break your promise.
3. Cut yourself off from distractions. Don’t rely on willpower. Is it enough to use software to switch off the internet? Do you need to avoid the computer altogether? Or do you require a high-focus environment like a library or shared studio? You know yourself better than anyone.
4. Prepare to be bored. Don’t resist it. Sit there and experience it - notice how your body feels, what thoughts and temptations parade through your mind, and what emotions you experience. (A regular meditation practice can be enormously helpful here.) Get to know your boredom - when you really study it, can actually be quite interesting!
5. Stay where you are until the boredom subsides. Don’t put pressure on yourself to come up with something amazing straight away. Just lay your paper/laptop/canvas/guitar/whatever in front of you, and look at it. If it’s a work in progress, look at what you did yesterday. When I do this, I usually find myself tempted to make a few light edits here and there, and before long the edits get bigger, I cross out fewer words and start adding more and more. So give yourself permission to do nothing or just tinker around - as long as stay focused on the work in front of you.
6. Make a habit of it. The more times you see the pattern - first boredom, then curiosity, then interest, then absorption - the more easily you will recognize the boredom as just the first part of the process, and the easier it will be to persist.