Where the Bored Mind Wanders

Before I get to the titled topic, I need to provide some background. I recently purchased a thing (or 100 individual things, I suppose) that some of you might think is silly, given the plethora of free stuff to be found on the interwebs.


Though they are intended for journaling, I bought this set of writing prompt cards with the blog in mind. I’ve blogged since 2012 on topics ranging from book stuff to humor to writing strategy to flash fiction to other flavors of interest and random nonsense. For a while, I’ve wanted the blog to be more interactive, in that comments are naturally encouraged within posts that are engaging and a bit funny. I just wasn’t sure what angle I needed to accomplish it.

That’s where the cards come in.

The prompts are in different categories, as indicated by the colors in the pic up there. Now, since these are intended for journaling, which is usually a private endeavor, some of the cards are bad for blogging purposes. Like this one.


It might be interesting to read how I screwed myself over, but I generally try to avoid whiny complaint sessions on here. Which is the same reason this next card won’t get a turn to play, no matter how unfair.


Another path I’d like to avoid is one that would make Thanksgiving with the family super awkward.


My mom reads this so I’d just like to say there are no traits or habits whatsoever that I would not like to adopt from her. Heh heh.

Awkward Erm GIF by Dyo - Find & Share on GIPHY

After weeding through the super personal/professionally awkward/potentially naughty cards, I picked one that will serve this first card-inspired post well.


Answering this question requires a measure of metacognition, or thinking about how you think. Have you found yourself in a train of thought with no idea how you got there, so you trace back to the origin? That’s metacognition.

It doesn’t need to be so involved or deep, though.

As I chewed on this question, my first instinct was what book plot things float around in my head in the middle of a first draft–like now, when I’m writing a murder mystery that requires showing the actual murder. I’ll just be driving along, minding my own business, and my brain throws different character-killing possibilities at me. And it’s like:

Evil Summer Glau GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Sometimes I’ll catch myself thinking about what to cook for dinner or how to better market my books or how much I really, really want a Heath Blizzard. But even with all this going on, I realized something in my metacognition practice.

I don’t get bored all that often.

And that might not be a good thing.

I know I spend more time than is probably advised on Facebook and Twitter. My scrolling finger has reached mastery. I know because when the cell signal sucks, I get a little grouchy. I’m not so good at being bored anymore.

So in addition to thinking about how I think, the prompt has led me to fighting the impulse to reach for my phone at every free moment.

What about you? Where does your brain go when you’re bored?

15 thoughts on “Where the Bored Mind Wanders

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  4. Interesting questions. I never “watch” tv. It is on but I have little interest in the shows. It is more white noise. I typically pursue other activities while it is on. I don’t find myself “bored” but that doesn’t mean my mind doesn’t wonder. It takes over when I do mundane tasks, like taking a shower, doing laundry, cleaning house, taking a walk. Those are the times when my mind is “bored” and begins to examine more complex issues. Provocative post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good point. I was bored with the show on TV, so I grabbed my phone. Between the Kindle and game apps, I don’t get bored anymore.
    My mind does wander though, when I’m trying to sleep…and then, I’m awake 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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