What is Apathy?
Simply defined, apathy is the lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern for something. For a writer, this can be a muse-killer. I find writing to be a work of passion and a gift. Apathy is dispassion and it can spread like a disease. For many of us out there it can be a serious issue, a plague that consumes all ambition and desire to continue on.
When Writer's Apathy Happened to Me
About eight years ago, writer's apathy unfortunately got a hold of me. Like many forthcoming authors, I had been working on this "great" masterpiece... since 1999. Then one day I turned around and said to myself, "Six years of writing and twelve incomplete chapters. Why bother?" At that moment I had reached an impasse. My mind and my desires were no longer aligned and I abandoned my work of art. For months following I didn't care to continue and I even forgot about writing altogether.
A void began to grow within me and while I couldn't put my finger on it, I continued to feel empty. It wasn't until I attended a writer's seminar months later that I realized what I had been missing. The joys of building my fictional world, interacting with my evolving characters, writing passionate passages, screwing up, starting over again. The writing process had escaped me and in that moment I realized I fell victim to writer's apathy.
How to Get Back After Writer's Apathy
I will admit it was not an easy road, and your devotion to the craft is truly tested. Some of us suffer from brief stints of lack of motivation, but writer's apathy can go deeper. So what can you do when writer's apathy grabs a hold of you and how can you get the fire back?
There are some options available to you if you feel this might be happening to you:
- Experiment. Immerse yourself in new and different genres. Variety breeds creativity.
- Attend. Conventions, seminars, and the like are full of energy, advice, and discussion designed to motivate and engage.
- Talk to others. Other writers, readers, and lovers of all things literary can be chock-full of insight. Get out of your head and into another’s. You might be surprised.