Jennifer Pickrell

YA Writer

I *heart* beta readers


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.


Author: Jennifer Pickrell

I write YA contemporary filled w/ romance, angst & family drama. Things I like: cats, snacks, baseball, green tea, taking pictures of trees & movies so bad, they’re good.

2 thoughts on “I *heart* beta readers

  1. I refused to show anyone my writing forEVER! It still scares me a little–show bits of my rejected opening lines on my blog even freaked me out. But for my completed MS, at least, I’ve learned to love the criticism. I actually want people to criticize it now because that’s helping me grow and improve. Even comments I might not agree with–I still have to identify for myself why I don’t agree. Compliments are always wonderful to hear but they aren’t as useful, you know?

    PS Your grammar on this blog is tops!

  2. If you had those t-shirts produced, I’d wear one too! 🙂

    I’ve been fortunate to have some pretty great beta readers – and I heart them all, as well. No shame in my game, as I like to say!

    I’m always looking to add another great beta to the list of awesomeness, if you’re ever interested – and I’m always open to beta reading, as well!

    I’m all things YA – but that doesn’t mean I’m not open to other genres…cause when it comes down to it, I just love to read.

    Keep up the great blog – I love poking around on one that’s new to me and meeting great writers!

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