Evil Gal Productions

Mere Smith
is a recovering Southerner,
longtime TV writer,
author and blogger.
August 1st, 2011 by Mere Smith

Quicquam Sed Apathia

Being a Net-savvy writer is hard.

Well, the savvy-ness is easy, I suppose — if you can manage to keep a jamillion people and pages and projects in your head simultaneously — and I can just barely squeak by on that account, my years as a pothead notwithstanding — but trying to write while being Net-savvy?

Difficult with a capital effin’ D, as my friend A. might say.

These days my attention is being pulled in so many different directions, it’s like my brain is simply a big prism, splitting my concentration into all the pretty colors that make up white light.  I’m only afraid what will come out in my writing will be white noise: monotonous and infinitely ignorable.  And I don’t wanna be ignored — who does, really? — I want people to love me.  Or hate me.  Frankly, I’m good with either (though of course I’d prefer love — since sometimes that comes with baked goods) — just so long as what I write provokes an honest response — applause or retching — I feel like I’ve done my job as an artist.

My motto should be Anything But Apathy.

Only in Latin, ’cause it’d look schmancier and make me feel smart.

Because the truth is that I am a hardcore ANTI-apathist.  I care too much about everything.

For example, right now I’m trying to focus most of my energy on writing two things: the Web series and a TV pilot, each in polar-opposite genres.

This may seem simple on its own — but in the meantime I am also trying to both manage and write for this blog, maintain a presence on Twitter (after having been informed this is now mandatory for independent artists’ visibility), “survey the literature” of other web series (a pretentious way of saying “watch how other folks do it so you don’t fuck up in the same ways — you can fuck up in new ways”), respond to all my emails — a task I found nigh-on impossible even before the Great Multitasking began — follow the projects I’m funding on Kickstarter, submit manuscripts to publishers, go to business meetings, work on my next book layout, and… oh, yeah, try not to be so tired when Finance comes home that he doesn’t trip over my comatose body and break his head open.

Also, I have cramps.

Yes, currently a herd of rhinoceri are duking it out for supremacy inside my uterus.

Goddamn rhinoceri.

So how does the modern Net-savvy writer-chick cope?

I suppose by remembering that she isn’t locked up in a monkey-cubicle doing a job that she hates.  By thanking the gods that she doesn’t have to deal with political-intriguing bullshit when she’s toiling alone.  By reminding herself that she chose this line of work of her own free will (“By God you’d BETTER write for a living or it’s the guillotine for you!”).  By being grateful that people will actually pay her rent for something she’d do for free (shh, don’t tell the Suits).

And perhaps most of all by relying on sheer willpower and perseverance.  The willpower to stop checking Twitter every two minutes, and the perseverance to keep slogging through a first draft even though it’d be much easier to sit on the couch, eat a mint-chocolate-chip Klondike bar, and watch TiVo’d “House” reruns until she could do a Bic-pen trache in her sleep.

If this sounds like complaining, though, trust me, it’s not.  (Okay, okay: 99% of it isn’t.)  Mostly, it’s just fear of failure.  Not in the sense of Oh no, I’m not on a hit show, or Oh no, this story is so fucked up no one will publish it.  It’s the fear of failing myself, of not adhering to the one predominant principle I established for myself long ago: Be true to who you are and your own creativity.  It’s the same fear that’s propelled me through 13 up-and-down years in Hollywood, the same fear that some of you must feel about your own jobs or vocations.

And believe it or not, I am deeply thankful for that fear, because I know what it signifies:

I still care.

Quicquam Sed Apathia.

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