Waking the Sleeping Dragon: Apathy and Its Effect on Wrting

 jsdlfjsdlijerjwfdslkjslcmslkdfmselfkweifjsdlcmsldkfmwlerjwofjsdkflskdnmflskdnmflwejfiwejdflsdfklmsdlfkmlfmjawejflsdkfmlskdfmsldfmalwerjawopeifjlskdfnmlkmfnle……Oh,  shit, sorry; I fell asleep on the keyboard again.  Lately that has been all there has been to my writing regime, normally so scheduled and productive, an endless parade of staring at a semi-blank screen, watching the little cursor go blip, blIP, BLIP all the day/night.  Nonsensical words fall from my fingertips like normal but any thought or rhyme to their placement on the screen is devoid of conscious thought, planning, or emotion.  I’ve come smack up against the second-most dreaded thing in a writer’s career:

                                                   APATHY

Possibly even worse than writer’s block, the apathetic writer is the one who has ideas a-plenty with no difficulty in putting those ideas to paper.  Their only stumbling block?  Their own inability to muster the desire to write.  And, what’s worse?  Apathy is also the lack of motivation to even CARE that they aren’t writing; at least with writer’s block, the aspiring author wants to write.

Tons of people think an apathetic writer is an unhappy writer.  They wonder what in that person’s life has made them not care about something they are normally so passionate about.  What’s happened to me?  Not a fuckin’ thing.  I’ve (almost) successfully completed my first semester back to college with decent grades; my social life is active with close friends; my work schedule is regular and on-track; and I’m finally getting a handle on those pesky bill-thingies people keep talking about.  All-in-all, I’m pretty flippin’ shiny.  So why don’t I want to write?  I dunno.

            <———-insert huge fucking apathetic shrug here———>

I’ve plenty of new ideas; tons of old ideas to complete, play with, or just fiddle with if I get bored; and, as always, the ability to pound out well-constructed prose into plausible tales of dastardly villains, dashing heroes, and devilishly twisting plots.  The only problem I’m facing is that I. Just. Don’t. Care.  Which would probably account for the constant migraine I have and the semi-crabby nature I’ve adopted since not writing has always attributed to the feeling that my eyeballs were going to pop out of my head due to the explosion of my creative center located in the deep recesses of my squishy lobes.

Climbing one’s way out of apathy, however, is something akin to attempting to hold onto the last doughnut at an Over-Eaters Anonymous group night – damned difficult and, quite possibly, dangerous to try.  In order to correct a problem, one has to first CARE that they have a problem.  That, by very definition, is somewhat hard to obtain when dealing with – say it with me, classApathy. So how does an author tackle such a daunting task?  By sucking it up and just doing it. You know, pretty much the same way we deal with not getting to go out with our friends because it interferes with our writing schedule; the same way we deal with giving up whole weekends of getting to sleep in and/or go out and party so we can trek halfway across an entire state or more to attend a book signing/reading where we might only get 5 peoples who attend; it’s also the same way we take every rejection letter or snarky comments about our perceived masterpieces with heads held high despite wanting to scream and rant and smash someone’s face in.  OK, well, MOST of the time we handle it with our heads held high. Rarely do we smash people’s faces in – rarely.

Basically, that means, I’m going to have to piss myself off royally for the next few days/weeks by forcing myself to care and think about what I’m doing/writing.  This solution has always worked in the past for me and, hopefully, it will work once more.  Let me know, other writers, what works for you when the passion has just gone out of the creative process. How do you reclaim your fire?