Waiting for my Betas…a story told by gifs.

So a little over two weeks ago, I sent my precious baby off to some strangers and a few friends to get some ugly, honest feedback on my manuscript. For those of you who don’t know what this is…it’s called beta reading. It’s their job to basically poke as many holes in your story, find the inconsistencies, call you out on shitty writing, tell you what they love, what they hate, and basically give input on how to make everything better. It is, quite possibly, one of the most nerve wrecking things I’ve ever done.

Since early June I have been living in a perpetual state of self doubt. What if I just spent the last seven months writing a big steaming pile o’ shit? What if the story is just horrible? Or worse…predictable? What if no one understands my characters who I’ve put ever fiber of my heart and soul into? What is people hate me? Because really…



I braced myself for the worst. Every single negative “what if” scenario has crossed my mind. Special kudos to my husband who has lived with my fifty shades of crazy. I’m pretty certain he saw all the ugly sides of me, especially lately. If you were in my presence, I would have looked a bit like this…


And this…


And even a bit spazzish like this…


And so I put on my big girl panties and waited patiently…


And waited…


And then I waited not so patiently and got all stressed out…


And wondered…what on earth is taking these people so long?!


But my husband reminded me I needed to give folks more than an hour to read nearly eighty thousand words.


Then finally, one glorious day…the feedback started to roll in…and it was overall really good!

The first to respond was a beta reader hand-picked by my editor. Which made me crazy nervous, because she’s beta read some of my favorite books and I knew that if she hated it my editor would hear all about it. But ya know what? She really liked it and did not find any major plot-shaking problems.

And while I was still unsure about myself, I was a little like this…


…and then more good feedback came through. And I was all like this…


..and then eventually, as feedback from my critique partner and fourth beta reader came in I hit Liz Lemon proportions with beta feedback. Because that was the first time I actually felt like I had written something that somebody other than my mother might want to read (sorry, Mom!).


(Seriously…that is my favorite gif in the history of gifs!)

On the whole, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Sure, there are kinks to iron out. Chapters to polish. Sections to rewrite. Grammar to fix. But…NOBODY HATED IT! So I’m taking that as a checkmark in the #WINNING column. And after a quick chat with my editor yesterday, the beta she recommended even raved about it to her (and she hasn’t raved about a book since this sucker came into the world, effectively destroying the heart of every last reader).

But then today…today I found out that I made somebody cry. And on some deep masochistic level my pride started to giggle. A level of emotional pornography I never imagined possible had been achieved.

And I was all like this…


So thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of my beta readers Deana, Angie, Melanie, Erycka, and Amy for pushing me and this story to the next level. It’s been a terrifying (and exciting ride) so far…but I appreciate you seeing IIE in its ugliest, rawest state. I am so happy with the positive, constructive feedback I’ve been given to date.

I am looking forward to finally handing this manuscript over to Jenn in a few days and making it even better before I share it with the world. But let’s be honest…as excited as I am about it…I’m so…scared…


xo – B


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