Thursday, 5 November 2015

Angst by Savita Kalhan

I've just finished the rewrite and edits of my latest manuscript and sent it off to my agent. It's been an intense process; I'm sure you've all experienced something similar. Now I feel relief that it's done, but the relief is always tinged with a bit of angst.
The definition of angst, according to the Oxford English Dictionary is: a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocussed one about the human condition or the state of the world in general. Its informal meaning is: a feeling of persistent worry about something trivial.
I suppose my angst fits into the informal meaning - although it doesn't feel trivial to me!
Questions such as - will my agent like it? What if she doesn't? What might she ask me to change or consider?  Questions like these don't feel trivial. A bit of angst is healthy. I seem to have too much of it, so if anyone needs some, give me a ring - I'm happy to share!

Just one of the piles of books
I'm in that waiting time now, and I've got a list a mile long of things that have been put on hold, which I'll have time for (once I've written this blog).
Top of the list is my neglected allotment, which will need tidying, digging over, manuring, as well as planting that garlic that's been sitting in the cupboard waiting for me to write THE END.
My garden writing room needs painting.
My paperwork is a shambles.
My TBR piles, if stacked one on top of the other, would topple over. There are piles of books in the dining room, the living room, the bedroom...lots of brilliant books, waiting to be read. They need urgent attention.
Thousands of emails, well, not thousands but hundreds, need to be dealt with.
You get the picture?

And underlying all the waiting days will be the angst. It never goes away. It keeps me on edge. It makes me think I'd better start another book because a) my agent might have reservations about how marketable the manuscript is; b) Publishing houses might think the theme in the manuscript is too risky for them; c) I've got another idea and I might as well see if it works; d) It's autumn and autumn is a good time to start a new book, isn't it?

Idris Elba, looking over my shoulder...
Yes, of course it's a good time! What am I thinking?

That's how the TO DO list ends up at the bottom of the pile of things to do, because suddenly there's no time to waste, because a book has to be started if it's ever going to be finished.

It's also the only thing that puts angst back in a box. For a while, anyhow.


Lari Don said...

I feel for you and your angst - I'm in a very similar position, having sent a novel manuscript away recently, and now sitting around waiting to hear 'the verdict' from an editor. And like you, I have a huge to do list of non-writing things, which I am blatantly ignoring in favour of doing the only thing which banishes the angst. Yesterday, I wrote 5000 words of an entirely different book... So, go for starting the new book. And all the best with the one you just submitted!

lionel abi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joan Lennon said...

Yes! The only thing that can fix that queasy feeling is to be writing. This explains the state of my house, desk, garden, exercise regime ... Good luck with the new and old books!

Savita Kalhan said...

And good luck to you both too, Lari and Joan! I'd better get writing too...

Miriam Halahmy said...

She'll love it! But always good to start the next book, takes your mind off to much angst.