I suck at asking for favors, so…
Recently, during a meeting of my writing critique group, when I was asked if I had gotten input from my Beta Readers on my latest book (before self-publishing) — I said, “No.”
Gasps of disbelief rippled around the table.
I felt like a leper.
I could feel the writers nearby withdrawing to safer, more purified air.
“WHY?” poured from every pair of lips, as they glanced uncomfortably at each other, while offering suggested excuses for my being such a scourge on the writing community at large.
“What are you afraid of?” “Lots of people are willing to be Beta Readers!” One individual even offered to trade — “I’ll read yours if you read mine.” (Reminded me of days long gone by on the playground, with the little boy who lived down the block…but, I digress.)
Initially, they almost had me convinced that “yes” I was afraid for others to read my work. But, as the inquisition continued, I found my own voice, and told them:
“I think it’s an awful lot to ask of someone in this crazy-busy world we are living in, to spend many hours (if not, days) reading another person’s work. Thus, I have avoided this part of the process.”
The whole experience reminded me of a piece I wrote many years ago, about everyone wanting a piece of my pie/time —but, that’s a story for another day.
Dear Readers: Please click on the comment button above, and tell me how you deal with asking for a chunk of other people’s time…I may be looking for Beta Readers for my next book, and could use your sage advice!