My Beta Is On Vacation…

When we first start writing, feedback, guidance, and advice are essential. After all, how else would we know what we’re doing wrong? Because it’s quite normal to write our first books and think they’re awesome because we’re high on the excitement of having finished a book. And come on, it’s a big deal! It’s only later, when the high has worn off, that all the suck becomes glaringly and disappointingly clear. Because the first draft is only half the battle.

As you truck along, however, it’s normal to need less and less guidance and advice. But that doesn’t mean you stop getting feedback altogether. Even if you think you got this writing thing licked — lucky you — it’s always helpful to get feedback now and then…if you can find it.

I’ve gotten very good help in the past and I am extremely grateful for it. Because good help is hard to come by. People flake and as a result, too many times I would have no one but myself to rely on if I ever wanted to get anything done. (One of said people who flaked on me, I still talked to every SINGLE day, so I know she wasn’t busy or distressed. But I’m nice. I didn’t bug that butthead.) It’s a frightening thing, being all alone in the writing world with the little book you slaved over. But with this particular book, I learned how to tear my stories apart. I learned how to listen to myself. Because I didn’t have anyone to tell me that my MC was boring as a brick. Or my resolution was rushed and didn’t make sense. Or any host of other problems that piece of crap lovely little ditty had.

Now, could I have helped myself during this dark time if I hadn’t received such great help in the past? Maybe…But it would have taken me a heck of a lot longer and been a heck of a lot harder. And it was hard enough.

I would have LOVED help. (And believe me I asked for it.) But I’m stronger writer because people flaked on me. (Yeah, I said people. Buttheads.) So nowadays I only jump around for a minute or so when I finish something. And I’m fine with that. I do most of my cheering and running amok when I finish my edits. ^^ I start thinking about what I need to change and what I’m doing wrong almost as soon as I get words on the page. I keep a notebook on my desk and jot down revision notes as I type. (And DUDES lemme tell ya! This makes for a super clean first draft!) I know when I’ve messed up. I know when a character is flat. I know when something is lacking and when I’m tripping over a plot hole. So I don’t stress myself if I can’t find feedback anymore. I have a system that works pretty well for me.

Yay, system! And I love this system. But I screamed (with excitement, mind you) when I won a spot in this month’s Secret Agent Contest on Miss Snark’s Blog. Yeah, I screamed. It’s like I won the lottery, getting feedback is that exciting for me. And to add fantabulous toppings to this feedback sundae: one of the people commenting on your anonymous entry is an agent!!

I can’t believe I get to go into my final read through/edits with feedback from an agent!! The universe doesn’t hate me after all. 🙂

Feel the excitement people. Lol! It’s been so super nice to have some feedback because on my last story, I had none. (That’s right, NADA!) Now, honestly, this is mostly because I didn’t ask for any. I know people who might read something for me if I ask, (I say might because, with my track record, I never know) but I’m not even joking when I say this: peeps are ALWAYS legitimately busy when I have something ready to read. And I just can’t bother people because I’m having an insecurity attack. (I know how this sounds. Don’t try to talk me out of it, I’m a Taurus. ^^) 

So yeah, it was great getting feedback without having to pester anyone. Because I hate pestering people. Even if all the feedback ended up being — “OMG, this is SO Awesomefied!” (And I may have put something similar to that in someone’s entry.) — wouldn’t it just be the bee’s knees to have that reassurance? Anywho, go tag the website. I’m told there’s a contest every month and it’s always random, so no getting turned down because you first page is all stinky-like.

I leave you with this random quote, for all those horrible times you need someone and can’t find them (or you’re just crazy, like me, and won’t ask. Lol): “It’s when things go wrong that you mustn’t quit.” Be Nike. Just do it. ^_^ (And yeah…I have no Nike brand anything…)

10 Responses to My Beta Is On Vacation…

  1. Good luck on Miss Snark's. As I've never been one to want much input on my work I don't understand the agony but I'm so glad you were chosen to be read and get feedback. Must be pretty exciting.

  2. Thanks! 🙂 I was so surprised to see my entry number on the list. Random bots usually don't pay very much attention to me. Lol! I got some great feedback, and It was a lot of fun looking over other people's first pages and commenting, too.

  3. Oh, that's cool! Sometimes you just want someone to read your stuff. I entered a writing contest once that I knew I wouldn't have a chance of winning, but the feedback from that was invaluable.

  4. Very true. Even the little things are helpful, because sometimes people make the same little mistakes over and over again and after a while, that can become aggravating. I can't wait until the Secret Agent reveal on Monday. 🙂

  5. Congratulations!!! That's really a great opportunity. I totally understand when you say you don't want to bug people. I'm lucky enough to have found a couple of other level-headed writers who have stuck at my side for a couple years now – through thick and thin. But it seems like a game of fate to run across ones like that. Of course, they aren't as good as agent feedback. So excited for you!!!

  6. Thank you! :)That's awesome you have some writers in your corner! I always find something helpful when I've get feedback. Even if it's something small. I guess the biggest benefit of agent feedback is that I can see if my sample pages will grab their attention or not. If for no other reason then so I can rule that out if I get a bunch of rejections off the bat. 🙂

  7. That is so cool you get agent feedback on part of your ms! Congratulations! I know many writers who would love to have that opportunity. (: This is definitely not the universe hating on you, it's the universe telling you to keep going and keep writing! (:

Hi! ^_^