It's time for Beta Readers...
After a bit of revision and such, my precious Book One of my series is ready for Beta Readers. I don't know why I am feeling so much angst about this. It's almost like I'm sending a child off into the world, when I know they aren't really ready for what awaits them. Will the Beta Readers be kind, or tear it to shreds? Will they recognize all of the books noble qualities, or will they dismiss it as crap and throw it back in my face? I have picked a few people who are well read, who have a history of proof reading, and whom I feel will be fair in their critique. Up until now I've let a few family members read the book, and they all like it. But..can I trust that their oppinions are unbiased? I don't know. Thus the need for beta readers. My Beta Readers are aquaintences who are not emotionally invested in my writing, whom I know well enough to gauge their character, but not well enough to be devasted if they hate what they read. Exactly what I need.
I need feedback. I want tp know that the books I put out are the best versions of themselves, that they can be. That the stories and characters running through my mind are as interesting and compelling to others, as they are to me. That I'm not wasting my time in my own little writing world. What does that all amount too? Validation.
I think everyone, in every field, seeks validation. Chefs want to know people love their food. Artists want people to be moved by their art. Writers want their books to be read and enjoyed. There is nothing wrong with that. But putting yourself out there is hard. For too many years I did not. I always knew this is what I wanted to do. What I needed to do, but I let fear dominate, so I went no where. I gave the negative voice in my head a megaphone. It was always "Someday, I'll write a book. Someday I'll be a real writer." Then somehow I find myself turning 50, and working at a job I loathed, and unhappy and disappointed in myself. I decided my someday, is now. I am now living my dream, writing fulltime. Dreams can be wonderful, but they can also be scary. Putting yourself out there, putting your words out there, is difficult. But I've taken the megaphone away from my negative innervoice and I am holding my head up when I call myself a writer. I know deep down, this is who and what I am meant to be. After a lifetime of wrong turns and dead ends, I am finally, FINALLY, on the right path. And the only way to go, is forward.