I finally finished my first round of heavy edits for the draft of this book and sent it off to a Beta reader. This is my first experience with a Beta reader, and to be honest...I don't know what to expect.
I'm not one to shy away from letting people read my writing. Over the years, I've grown more confident, not just in my writing, but in the process. Writing requires practice and revision. Nothing is perfect on the first try. But if I protect my work-in-progress from the eyes of others, how is it ever supposed to improve.
I know some people are terrified to send their books out to a stranger, but I'm not. I'm hopeful that she will point out holes in my story and provide useful feedback. I'm hopeful that any changes I make will only make my book stronger and more enjoyable when I (hopefully) release it later this year.
The worst thing we can do to ourselves as writers is doubt our work, or hold it so close that no one ever sees it. At some point, you have to let go and get feedback. You have to let others read your story, even if it's not perfect (and if it's a first or second draft, it won't be perfect, and that's ok!).
So on May 5th I will receive her feedback. I'll sift through it and take what I like and leave what I disagree with. I will look at it with an open mind to find ways to improve my book, and I won't feel self-conscious that a stranger read my book.