Can I get an “I *heart* beta readers” t-shirt and can I wear it without people assuming I’m a psycho? And by “people” I mean my beta readers. Because if they think I’m scary, they might stop giving me helpful advice.
I actually didn’t have the courage to show anyone – not even my husband or my mom – my writing until a year or two ago. But now here I am, sending it out to readers. I know most of them, but one asked if she could pass it along to some of her fellow teacher friends (which is brilliant because me + grammar = shaky ground) and I said, “Sure!”
Of course, my casual attitude hides an internal semi-panic as I think about being judged as a writer by an unpolished draft, but it’s comforting to know that these people are going to help me turn my draft from “hmmm” to “yay!”
(I hope, because that’s what I’m going for)
I worried I would be hurt by criticism, but instead I’ve been enthusiastic because I understand where the advice is coming from. It might be different if I got a “You suck ass, stop writing FOREVER,” but I’d probably just say, “Whatevs, can’t stop me now!”
I actually love that feeling of, “How did I not see that before???” because I fall so in love with my own characters, I can’t see anything else. I love continually improving and pushing myself. There’s no better high than that.
Just when you think you don’t have any more creativity or you think it’s as good as it gets, your betas let you know you can do better. And you start revising and you realize that they’re right.