Boredom as a passage to creativity

Friday, July 1, 2011

Here are two interesting interviews you can either listen to or read in transcription:

Reluctant Habits, an informative and varied website for cultural topics, runs an interview with Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, about her writing routine. She tries to write for two hours every morning on whatever topic is interesting to her that day. Boredom is a necessary step in the process:

So in some way, for me, it feels like a dance between boredom and concentration. And I think my concentration can feel thin. So the idea is blocking out the amount of time so that I’m going to try to concentrate. But I don’t know that I will. And inevitably I get bored. And then hopefully on the other side of boredom is something.

On NPR, Neal Conan talks with Tattered Cover owner Joyce Meskis on the challenges faced by independent bookstores. The callers who join the dialogue add their own perspective. Basically, the reminder is that if you enjoy the services and ambience of an indie bookseller, then you need to buy something when you go there.

Here’s a thoughtful article in Splitsider, a website devoted to comedy. Chicago writer and teacher AJ Aronstein explores nostalgia, triggered by rediscovering his Calvin & Hobbes anthologies from the early 1990s. He notes:

Nostalgia pieces can seem incredibly defensive, precisely because they focus on feelings, and not on ideas. They defiantly insist that the joy in revisiting the near past resides in reproducing the experience of falling in love again. And if you’re not already in love, too bad.


An overdose on nostalgia for the things we once treasured often does them injustice by simplifying our memories of them. In the worst cases, it prevents us from seeing what they actually say about the world.

Nostalgia is indeed a tricky thing.

Our new issue launches in ten days! Look forward to nonfiction by Jacqueline Dougan Jackson, poetry by David Starkey, fiction by Christine Sneed, and of course much more.