Leaping off the ledge – getting beta-readers to read the first draft of a story

I usually feel like I want to throw up, then I get a bit of a rush in my head, I can feel my breathing speed up and that’s when I do it. I hit the send button on my computer and send my story out to a beta-reader who will give me the first feedback on my baby. The book that is an extension of myself, that is made from the twisted sinews of my heart and soul.

Then the exhilaration comes with knowing I have let the book go. It is out of the house, and I am filled with a foot-stomping rush that makes me want to run around in the garden banging a drum. I don’t of course, but the feelings bottled upside are like riding a rollercoaster.

The first contact after my beta-reader (friend) has read the story is perhaps the worst. Especially if you’re working away and you hear the phone ring, but because you’re writing you have made a rule not to answer the phone or the cel while you’re working. You must keep to the work.

But you know a message is waiting from that first beta-reader and it makes all the hair stand up on my arms, and the sick feeling comes back and then I feel like I need to go to the bathroom and I ponder breaking my rule to get it over with and hear the message or just waiting out in no-man’s land a little longer in case the news is bad and I have written something that only an author can love.

Cue the music for drama here. Yes, I will listen to the message but only after I’ve finished the read through of two chapters I promised myself I’d edit and polish today. If the news is bad, I will be crushed and not able to be productive for the rest of the day. Such is the life of an author who lives for her work, finds purpose and joy in it, and can be crushed by it as well.

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