Excuses, Excuses, and Fending Off Unwanted Opinions

To of you who’ve ever struggled with writer’s block (so, literally all of you then?), let’s talk about a very delicate and frightening part of the process that I may have mentioned before: beta readers.

Right now I’m churning out chapters at a fairly encouraging rate, and because my own opinion of my own writing can’t logically be trusted, I’ve chosen two trustworthy beta readers to evaluate the chapters as I produce them. Now, neither person is a writer themselves, so I don’t get any technical critique, but it’s nice to have some honest feedback about how the story is unfolding and what works and what doesn’t. Problem is, these two readers are my coworkers, so the only place I can show them anything is at work. Problem: someone noticed.

No, I don’t mean we’re in hot water for talking books during our downtime, I mean our supervisor is also an avid reader and she’s beginning to wonder why she’s not involved in the read-share. I hedged as best I could, because the real answer is, “I neither trust you nor value your opinion.” Oof.

Truth be told, I didn’t want to let people read it all. Stupid, right? I wanna publish it, but I don’t want anyone to readĀ it. I fantasize about it being read worldwide, and then I don’t even let my friends near it. Letting in two beta readers was difficult enough. I didn’t expect people to start asking why I didn’t pick them.

You know why I’m not married, apart from being a repellent for commitment? Because choosing bride’s maids sounds like actual hell. Choosing beta readers is turning out to be just as awful. Eventually you start running out of polite ways to turn people down. My supervisor, my friends, my own boyfriend… “We’re just waiting for you to show us.”

I understand that someday my book might actually get published and, fates willing, thousands of complete strangers will be allowed to judge me. But, I mean, that’s the future! That’s after everything is written and pulled apart and torn up and eventually put back together and polished up to a finished product. The world won’t see it while it’s rough and experimental and confusing, because they’re not meant to. So, ipso freakin’ facto, shouldn’t a similar law exist to protect my pride from my friends and loved ones?

All I’m saying is, this was so much easier when no one knew I was finally writing. Letting everyone believe I was a writer’s blocked loser was just a simpler, less stressful time.

When the demand on your work increases, do you respond with fear or enthusiasm?

The September contest’s submission window came to a close last night, so be on the look out for the voting poll and next month’s first prompt!


About brigitsflame

Brigit's Flame is an ever-evolving online writing community. We offer writing prompts and inspiration while sharing our own writing and reading observations with an audience of writers, poets, and readers. We encourage peer readership and constructive criticism for all of our members. Our motivation is simple -- creativity is a precious resource to be nurtured and the results of the creative process can grow into something beautiful when shared. All writing you share with us remains your property. Come check us out on Brigits Flame Writing Community on Wordpress and be sure to follow our activity on Brigits Flame on facebook, Brigits Flame on tumblr, or Brigits Flame on twitter. We are everywhere you are.
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5 Responses to Excuses, Excuses, and Fending Off Unwanted Opinions

  1. I really have no experience in this area.


  2. Rio says:

    Yes! I revert to a two year old when the possibility of someone reading what I write arises as in, “I hate you first!”.

    Sometimes I imagine stuffing crumpled sheets of a story in the hat of a homeless person. Terrible.

    Liked by 1 person

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