On Beta Reading, Editing, and Not Being Appreciated

On Beta Reading, Editing, and Not Being Appreciated

Dear Readers, I am about to go on a bloody rant and get real pissy. You have been warned. This is the evil, psycho, mean side of me coming out. I’m not apologizing. I just want you to have fair warning here and now.

I am, at heart, when it comes down to profession, a writer. I live for the written word. I love the look of ink on the page as it forms new shapes, then those shapes become words, the words become sentences, the sentences become paragraphs, and the paragraphs become a tale needing to be told. Nothing brings me more pleasure than reading wonderful tales told by wonderful minds. I greatly enjoy telling my own tales as well. I want to spend my life writing and telling amazing tales. I want to share my universes with anyone who will spare me a minute of their time.

I have been writing since I was in high school. I have been studying the art and craft of writing since high school as well. At least three out of five books that I read over a seven-day period are books on how to better my writing craft or some other kind of research that goes into my writing as well. I pour my mind, body, and soul into my work. I bust my ass to do the work I do. And I don’t do it for some amazing amount of money. I don’t do it for the glam and fame. I do it because I am driven to do it.

If you come to me and ask me to look at your great new writing project… if you come to me and ask me to do a beta on your new shiny story… if you come to me for my opinion… if you come to me for edits and feedback… Please don’t waste my time by ignoring every freaking, single thing, I say to you. Don’t get pissed off at me when it takes me two weeks to simply read and then beta your 80,000-word document.

When I take on a project like that. I drop everything to do with my own work. I pour hours of my day into your work and your future. I spend time on you that I could and should be spending with my loved ones. I drop my life for the entire time I am focused on your work so that I can help better you. AND I do it out of the fact that I have been there and I know how hard it is to get the help you need when you are starting out. But I put my mental, physical, and emotional health on hold, too.

By the time I have read your story all the way through, done all the corrections that a good beta reader should, made a few editing tweaks (because I’m nice like that), and left a page worth of notes and commentary… I’ve spent myself to the point of exhaustion, all so you could make YOUR deadline. To hell with mine, right?

Well here’s the thing. I am done being nice people. In the last six weeks I have done over fifteen beta reads. THAT’S 1-5. 15. That’s over two a week for six weeks straight. My home life is suffering, my kid is worried sick about me, my work is suffering, and I am mentally exhausted. NO MORE. I have been doing all of this for free and have never asked for anything in return. Not once have I asked for any kind of recompense or tit for tat. But, enough is bloody enough.

I need to take care of me and mine and that means that I have to work on my own work. I have to take care of myself in all aspects. I need to focus on me and mine. If you want me to beta or edit for you, that’s great, but I need to have something in it for me too. I want you to succeed. I really do. But I want me to succeed too.

So as of tonight I am not taking on anymore “work” that does not help me as well. I know that that sounds bitchy and selfish as all hell. But after six weeks of throwing myself into other people’s work and being told that I am in fact a “Selfish Bitch”, simply for not taking on more and putting more time into other people’s work. I’m done.


It’s been a wild ride, but I’m getting off now.


Love, Peace, Snuggles, Hugs, Unicorns, and Rainbows…



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