#InsecureWritersSupportGroup entry for e-book - Asking for Help
Thanks to the co-hosts for October 1:
Kristin Smith - http://swordsandstilettos.
Suzanne Furness http://suzannefurness.
You Have to Ask for Help
It doesn't matter how fabulous you think someone is with his or her craft, it doesn't matter how enjoyable, engrossing, beautifully written the work is, the writer always has an Achilles' heel somewhere.
In my case, I have a shyness - though I think the word is 'fear' - regarding asking for a beta read, a read-through, a review of a chapter. I tend to get caught up in the flow of the story, the action...
|...Okay, now what?
So... I have a story, and I've worked on it and worked on it and polished it, and I'm pleased with it (I'm pretty picky, actually), but another pair of eyes really is needed...isn't it?
Heck, the story is good, the characters are well-rounded, I love them to death, and they convey the story so very well.
But what would happen if I gathered my courage in both hands and, clearing my throat apologetically, actually asked for a beta-read from someone other than a friend who, though a fabulous editor is, after all, a friend who loves me and loves my work. Yeah, yeah, that one does say when something stinks, but still... Is it just the really bad ones that are mentioned, and the others are allowed to slip by because, after all, I'm an old, longstanding friend. Is the input valuable at all?
|They're faking it because they don't want to hurt my feelings (sob)
It's persuasive - and why are the unpleasant things persuasive?
So, why do I have this shyness about stepping forward and asking other writers to read my work and (gasp!) maybe do a beta-read? Maybe let me know what they think? Why am I like this?
|A beta-read offer! YIKES!!!!
It is foolish to indulge such nonsensical fears, even though they are normal. I know jolly well that I can take it. I've had nasty reviews and come away with some good criticism that I could use. ...Or am I afraid that I am going to bore someone, and they will say that my writing is frivolous and stinks and I'm bad news. Let's face it: I write historical fiction (alternate historical fiction, if you want to be strict). No paranormal, some love stories, but not, strictly speaking, Romances in the modern term. I hear people talking of their work and think, Gee, they're with it! But me--
|Diana at work composing
I'm not cutting edge. I don't necessarily want to be. I just want to be the best writer that I can.
The way I look at it, I can either go back to Business-As-Usual and fight my way through to a finished product, wearing out my friends and advisers (another insecurity, by the way: how long will they be able to stand me?)...
Or I can take a deep breath, step forward, manuscript or flash drive in hand, smile shakily at those people facing me who all write so well...I think... and say "I need help. Can someone do a beta-read?"
Actually, that is the very best thing to do. Not to seek help leads to stagnation.
|...Could be nice...
SHORT BIO: Diana Wilder is a writer of historical fiction, with elements of mystery, adventure, romance or fantasy. Her books include the four volumes of The Memphis Cycle, set in Egypt, as well as the first volume of her trilogy,
The Orphan's Tale, set in 1830's Paris.
She blogs at http://dianawilder.blogspot.com.
Permission is granted to use this post in The Insecure Writer's Support Group Guide to Publishing.
Check out the hop. There are some fabulous posts to savor: