The Writer’s Angst

0511-1103-0212-0510Angst is a powerful word. I prefer it to worry, anguish or torment. It sounds like a word that belongs to the struggling…you fill in the blank. I can’t use angst to describe my emotions when I write. That word belongs to much loftier writers than I will ever claim to be. James Joyce was the king of angst. He spent days anguishing over just the right word for his sentence.

Regardless, I do suffer from angst, not while I write, but the minute I type The End. Angst attacks and invades my brain like a possessive demon. I totally fall apart. First, my angst questions the worthiness of my manuscript. It’s not good enough. No one will read it. Trash it, all thoughts that rage in my head. That’s when I turn to my critique partner who assures me that it’s great. Not great, as in the next great American novel, but great enough.

My next bout with angst comes when I submit my first three chapters to my publisher. Four weeks after my submission, I expect to hear back asking for the entire manuscript. I have a timeline. If they don’t meet it, I’m thrown into the depths of hell. “I knew it. They hate it,” I wail to my critique partner. An entire week of cake and cookies has passed, feeding my angst. I finally get the request for my manuscript, only to have angst strike again when I think they’re going to pass on publishing my work. I hate that phrase “Unfortunately, we’re going to have to pass at this time.” Does that mean they’ll take it next week? My angst doesn’t end until I have the contract in hand.

It’s over you say. No. It’s only begun. My next bout begins as soon as the final edit is returned to the publisher. I’m beginning to hate this book. Marketing…this is where angst grows to mammoth proportions. Selling myself is not high on my like-to-do list. I feel like a prostitute beating my drum for readers. I won’t even say it’s limited to Facebook because I’m all over the place. I stand on the corner of Twitter and WordPress if anyone’s interested. I do everything that’s required. I attend book signings. I tweet. And I blog. All creating greater angst.

And then, we have the rankings and reviews. Hours, days are spent dissecting these dreaded author haters. I stand in judgment as they strip me of my confidence. It’s only when I get a good review that I can raise my head and stare the beast in the eye.

The worst is when a friend or family member informs me that they’re reading my book. Angst goes through the roof when I hear this. I feign a contagious disease to avoid the holiday dinner. Anything is better than listening to them dissect the book I bled over.

Writing is a roller coaster of angst. It’s a good thing I like the word.

First published on Southern Writers Magazine: Suite T

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Book cover 9313 029Patricia Hudson was born in Wales, U.K. As a young girl she moved to America with her family and currently resides on a small horse farm in central Illinois, with her husband, David, two dogs, and her beloved quarter horse. She has written seven books: Stolen Hearts released in 2013. The Call, Love on the Double T, Love’s Deception, and The Exchange to be published in 2014. Also in production are The Circle, and Jana Morgan, PI. Join her on http://www.facebook.com/AuthorPHudson Tweet on http://www.twitter.com@AuthorPHudson
Read her blogs on https://patriciahudson1011.wordpress.com

My Journey with the Horse

Equestrian Ink Blog Showcases Writer

http://equestrianink.blogspot.com/2013/10/guest-post-from-patricia-hudson.html

When Sara learns that her beloved thoroughbred has been stolen, she relies on fellow horse trainer, Ryan, to help her locate the missing horse. As she struggles to trust Ryan’s true intention, she finds out that while Ryan is helping her find her stolen horse, he has managed to steal her heart as well.

Please enjoy this post where Patricia talks about her journey toward publication:

My journey with horses started years ago; too many if I’m worried about my age. As a teenager, I watched the red and black coats flying through the valley on horseback, jumping coops, following dogs in the chase for a nonexistent fox.  In late fall, the entire town turned out to watch the cavalry games on the lawn of the quintessential mansion. Ahh, the nostalgic memories of my youth!

Fast forward to a husband and three children in the Chicago suburb of LaGrange Park. Despite a busy life and a demanding career, horses were still there, lingering in the background. My six year old caught the bug. From where is a mystery, but she had it bad. We signed her up for riding lessons at a stable we found in our suburb. Horses were back in full force, Saturday morning riding lessons and the occasional schooling show. She thrived.

Another move. This time we moved to our forever home on the outskirts of Springfield, Illinois. Was our dream finally coming true? We bought land, a farm house, and a barn; a barn to house our very own horses. It was not the home of my youth, with the green valleys and rolling hills, but it had its own charm and purpose.  Wherever I looked golden fields of wheat, rows of corn and the yellow flowers of soy beans captured my eye. I loved the land.

Weekends were spent traveling to horse shows. Funny, when a horse is shared, the angst between mother and daughter disappears. In time, my youngest went off to college, but I had the horses to soothe me. She graduated, got married, blessed us with wonderful children and my life went on. Horses still lived in my barn. Where did I get the idea to breed my mare? Was I going through my mid-life crisis? Yes! I made arrangements to send her to a local breeding farm, the home of a World Champion.

Three hundred forty-two days later, we saw the miracle of life. We had a filly. The following year, we had our second.  As life happens, I lost my beloved broodmare, but to this day I treasure her foals. The girls are stabled in Nashville, Tennessee with my trainer. I go there often to visit. My barn may be empty, but horses will always be in my heart.

I was never a writer, there just wasn’t enough time. When I retired, I panicked. What am I going to do with my time? My children are gone, my horses are gone, and my husband leaves me every day to go to work. I was alone. It didn’t take long for me to think, I’ll write. I’ll write about strong women, horses, and the love they share. It will give me purpose, even if no one else reads it. My writing became my companion. I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning and hit the keys. As the story unfolded, I thought, maybe others will want to read my book? The day I sent it off to a publisher, excuse me for the cliché, I was as excited as a kid in a candy shop. My first fifty rejections broke my heart but taught me a lesson. Before you send your manuscript off, you need to polish it and polish it again.

My first book sits proudly displayed on my coffee table. Since then, I’ve written four others, all to be published in 2014. Three of them include my hero, my love, my passion, and my addiction – the horse.

To find Stolen Hearts on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Stolen-Hearts-ebook/dp/BooE3LMF71

Author Websites:

www.twitter.com/AuthorPHudson

www.wordpress.com/patriciahudson

www.facebook.com/AuthorPHudson

http://smpauthors.wordpress.com/meet-patricia-hudson/