Boredom Is Desired, Because It Means Change Is Imminent

“I simply cannot imagine a smart person being bored, ever.” -Luke Sullivan

Copywriter, creative director, author and educator, Luke Sullivan, doesn’t believe that creative people get bored.

Good creative people are naturally interested in everything, curious about everything. They inhale the world.

Sullivan also suggests that one not let on that they’re bored with, or at, work. I understand why he’s giving this advise, but I have a different opinion on the matter.

In my experience, smart and creative people are restless souls. And restless is but a degree away from bored. However, it’s this restlessness that leads creative people to pursue new experiences.

When I was bored out of my mind writing headlines for cardboard point-of-sale displays at The Integer Group in 1999, I endeavored to learn html and begin publishing to the web. When I was in Chicago in 2004, boredom (among other things) led me to start AdPulp. And so on…

Bored means not satisfied with the status quo. Ergo, the best creative minds are bored regularly. It’s what they do with that boredom that matters. If you wallow in it, Sullivan is right to chastise. But the objective is to transcend boredom, not wallow in it.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.