Friday, December 19, 2014

The Angst Project by Stephanie Prichard

Stephanie Prichard

Do you allow distractions to keep you from writing? Oh, I hate to admit it, but I’m guilty! However, there’s hope for overcoming hindrances to productivity. Give some thought to author Stephanie Prichard’s  encouraging tips and consider starting your own Angst Project. ~ Dawn

The Angst Project

My book club is reading The Happiness Project, in which the author journals her month-by-month progress in nailing down attitudes and habits that will give her a better appreciation for the happiness she already has. You know, a beautiful house … but it’s cluttered. A wonderful husband … but she nags him. Good health … but she’s always tired. And so on.

I’m only a few chapters in, but I’m salivating over her to-do lists and am tempted to carbon copy her journey. My book club mates, however, are muttering vague, disparaging remarks, and their chins are drool dry. Since I’m not as far along in the book as they are, I figure either the author goes where no sane woman would dare to go, or my mates simply aren’t devout to-do-listers. Whatever, I know better than to get caught up. I’m a good beginner but a poor continuer. Every month I throw away my to-do list and start over.

Nevertheless, I like the concept of dealing with obstacles that are … well, foolish. Foolish that they’re hindrances, foolish that I allow them, foolish that they even exist in the first place. In particular, I’m thinking of why I let myself get distracted from writing. Last week I had two whole days—TWO WHOLE DAYS!—free to write, with no one and nothing to divert my attention. And what did I do? Yep, wasted time with distractions.

So I did a bit of analysis and came up with the fact that I let myself get distracted because I’m anxious. Is my writing good enough? Will I show not tell? Get the scene goal expressed? Tilt the tension up? Draw the reader in? Avoid my fave expressions? Get my MRUs straight? Reach a dark moment? Remember to have a sequel?

The more I learn about writing, the more my angst increases.

Remember when writing used to be fun?

But I can’t go back. I don’t want to go back. I actually do love making progress, painful as it is.

So I’ve started my own little project. The Angst Project. What attitudes and actions will help reduce my anxiety and up my productivity? So far I’ve come up with five.

1. Work on more than one writing project at a time to spread the angst and ideally decrease it.

2. Allot a minimum of an hour to each project.

3. Feel free to jump back and forth between projects.

4. If a project starts to roll, go for it!

5. Have a planned, profitable distraction ready to go (laundry, a few     bills to write, a sink full of dirty dishes—something good that needs to get done, but that I’m glad to set aside as soon as I can).

So, I’m curious … do you know what causes you angst? And what to do about it?

All Marine Corps reservist Jake Chalmers wants is to give his dying wife a last, romantic cruise to the Philippines. Unable to save her in a mass murder aboard ship, he washes ashore a jungle island, where he discovers three other survivors. Heartbroken that he failed to save his wife, he is determined not to fail these helpless castaways.

Federal prosecutor Eve Eriksson rescues a young girl and her elderly great-aunt from the same ship. They badly need Jake's survival skills, but why is he so maddeningly careful? She needs to hurry home to nail a significant career trial. And, please, before Jake learns her secret that she's responsible for his wife's death.

Stranded: A Novel is available for only $2.99 at  

Stephanie is an army brat who lived in many countries around the world and loved it. She met her husband at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she majored in English/Literature. She and Don have lived in Indianapolis, IN, for forty years, and in retirement have turned to co-authoring novels now that their three children are busy raising a beautiful crop of grandchildren for them.

You can learn more and connect with Stephanie here:

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