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Is boredom important for creativity?


I tend to write most of my music over one or two weeks during the summer.  I have been lucky enough to get residencies through the Fredericton Arts Alliance the past 8 years.

So, here is the question.  Why do I write most of my music during these residencies and not the rest of the year?  Every now and then I try to set up a regular schedule for writing music every week, but I never manage to settle to it.  What is it that makes the residency different from schedule regular time in my schedule?Casemates

Well, here is the answer…  It is large amounts of time with nothing else to do.  During my residency I have to spend 30 hours at the residency over the course of a week.  It gets me out of my house and into a space where I have no distractions.  I also have nothing else to do.  I don’t take any books, I don’t take my computer, I don’t take any knitting…  I just take my fiddle, my phone to record with, and blank manuscript paper. 

I spend time just sitting, maybe wandering a bit, but just there with nothing to do but play my violin and come up with tunes.  That lack of schedule allows my brain to stop spinning.  It allows me to stop thinking about what else I have to do.  It allows me to stop thinking about what it coming next.  It lets me be there in the moment and let whatever wants to come out, come out. 

I have given up on trying to schedule regular creativity time into my schedule.  I need more than a few hours to release my regular planning and thoughts.  I need the ability to have several days in a row with nothing else to do.  I need that downtime, and even the boredom that can come with it in order to be creative!

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