Caring can be a curse.
When you care about something, you invest a part of yourself in it. You put in a chunk of your soul proportionate to the amount of affection you feel towards that person or project.
If you’re lucky (like my sister), you’re one of those individuals gifted with fathoms-deep love and patience for every living thing. Good for you.
If you’re like me, then you’re not so lucky. I’m one of those folks who wake up every once in a while to a bottomless pit of nothingness left by my unreasonable need to believe in what I do in order to do it. I’m one of those people who have to stop giving a damn every once in a while, because the fucks I give are finite and there are too many things to love.
There are some things that I used to give a damn about, but left behind. One of the big ones was writing fantastical fiction. I used to write it all the time: while I ate, while I slept, while I spoke to other people. I used to make sure that those ideas somehow ended up on paper (real or virtual), pages and pages of scenes and dialogues. I used to share them with bunches of people.
I stopped, mainly because it’s hard to care about that while caring about vastly different things at the same time. Like my job. And the cats. And my bills.
It didn’t help that I cared too damned much about what other people think, too (“Your story isn’t very interesting”).
If you’re like me, caring can be a curse.
But of course, not caring about anything can be much, much worse.
So I started to write again. Poetry at first. Little 5-minute bursts of creativity. Played around with photo editing software to go with them so I can keep myself inspired. Tried to not think about how I compare to the greats (because who am I kidding?).
Then I started doing prose again, while keeping up the poetry. Private journaling. Rambling thoughts I know I will share with NO ONE. Letting inner characters run rampant. Angry, sad, desperate, contented, amused, and determined.
Then I forced myself back into fiction. Took a Speculative Fiction class. Forced myself to put my ideas out there again, made sure that I can’t hide under a damn bushel again. Wrote so that I’d get published and start caring about a world I made myself not think about in years.
I wrote something that would be published so I have no choice but to give a damn. Sometimes, that’s the only way to give a damn about something—giving yourself no other alternative.
It’s funny. It turns out that giving yourself no choice can sometimes be the only choice worth making.
I highly recommend it.
What do you want to give a damn about (again)? Feel free to share!
PS: The Incredible Truths bundle, where you can find my short story, is now AVAILABLE at the Buqo store. So heck yeah, I have no choice but to care about my writing again. Feel free to check it out (and leave an honest review on Goodreads).