I still have my Christmas tree up.
The lights are still strung, the ornaments still on, the stockings are still hung on the mantel. I don’t want to take it down. Why? Because then it will be over. It also means, I will have to clean.
I am really apathetic about it. Perhaps if I ignore it will go away?
Sure, I know it won’t. If I don’t do anything about it, there the tree will stay, cobwebs forming (Oh, did I mention I don’t like dusting?), the cat will slowly chew through every little ornament on the bottom part of the tree. The lights will dim. The beautiful decorations will become tarnished. All that I celebrated will turn to nothing.
I have been treating my writing like that. I have this manuscript which has been rejected, but still needs LOTS of polishing. I’ve been slowly working on it. Ok, lets put that in perspective, slowly as in, not doing much at all. Because I have told myself once it is done, I will send it in and apply for pro.
Just like my Christmas tree, if I keep ignoring this manuscript of mine, using the excuse that I am still polishing it, thinking it will be better the longer I keep it, than I am foolish, it will tarnish. I have used my apathy to mask something deeper, something I really don’t want to nudge with my foot. Because if I have to actually DO something--like clean up the decorations and put them away, or send in my manuscript as is--it will reveal itself.
Fear is not always the recognized monster, that nail-biting, heart-pounding, wild- eyed emotion. Sometimes it sneaks in through a back door and takes position in your life and you never even know it’s there. The symptoms are apathy, procrastination, neglect, boredom, negativity, and inertia (I specialize in the last one).
How do you find it? How do you attack it? Ask yourself this: Why? Why am I not moving forward? Why is this particular scene, life, moment hard for me? Meet it head on and examine it. Where do I want to be? Why? What’s stopping me? (if you start blaming others, that’s fear, my friend).
I don’t want to be the “wannabe” writer. You know the one, the writer that always TALKS about writing, but never actually does anything. (I’m not talking about those that keep writing, submitting, and struggling forward, they’ve overcome this already). How am I going to move on this writer’s journey if I remain apathetic? I won’t. All my hopes and dreams will be ashes.
So, today my Christmas tree comes down. All the ornaments will carefully be packed away, the lights studiously placed, untangled into the boxes, and all evidence of celebration will be replaced by space.
This week, I will get my less than perfect manuscript together, make it readable, even if it is still cringe worthy, and place it on disc.
This week, I apply for Pro.
What are you apathetic about? What are you denying that needs to be done to make you move forward in your writer’s journey?