Writers vs Beta Readers

It’s like this. Writers bleed. For long hours, months, sometimes even years, we pour our very soul onto page after page, until we’re finally happy enough with the result to let someone else read it. Or maybe so desperately stuck we need outside input. Whatever. Fact is, in that brittle, raw moment, where we hit the send button to transfer our latest offering into your inbox, what we really do is, hand you our hearts on a silver platter.

And then you go and tell us that, no, sorry, it’s not the greatest thing since Shakespeare.


How dare you.

How dare you be honest with us. How dare you tell us what doesn’t work for you. How dare you tell us which character comes across as unsympathetic. How dare you stomp all over our precious sandcastle. Rip the blanket off the baby stroller and tell us our beloved brainchild is blindingly ugly.

Small wonder if we’ll send you a grumpy reply. If you’re lucky, we’ll wait for 24 hours, until the worst tantrum has passed and we’re able to add a ‘thank you for your time and effort’ to all the grumpiness.

That small addendum is the only thing you need to take heed of. Because it’s the only thing we really mean. Ignore the vitriol and the defensiveness. Ignore the spittle and the raised quills. We love you, more than words can ever say. We’re grateful for the pressure you put on us, for forcing us to reflect on our perceptions, for ripping us right out of the grease we’ve been comfortably stewing in. We really appreciate the courage it takes to stand up to us and say, look, this sucks, that doesn’t make sense, here’s a plot hole the size of the Grand Canyon, and there’s an elephant-sized chunk of downright nonsense. And even more, we adore you for still talking to us after having received that grumpy reply.

hearts-37308_1280Thank you. Thank you for what you do. Please don’t ever stop. We need you. We’d be lost without you.

About angelikarust

My name is Angelika Rust. I was born in Vienna in 1977. These days, I live in Germany, with my husband, two children, a despotic couple of cats and a hyperactive dog. After having tried almost every possible job from pizza delivery girl to HR consultant, I now make a living knowing English. No, I haven’t yet figured out what I want to be when I grow up, whenever that may be. In the meantime, I write the occasional book.
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