As you know, a while back I announced that I was taking on the project of becoming a beta reader. Man, I had no idea of the pressure I was about to unleash on myself.
This happened totally by accident. One evening while on twitter a fellow tweeter of mine made a comment that she was through with her WIP (work in progress) and wanted to desperately hit the delete key on the whole thing. Being the cheer leading kind of gal I am I immediately came to her rescue and offered to read it and give her feedback. I should be clear here. Never, and I mean NEVER in a million years did I think she would take me up on it.
Not because she is OCD like me, but because I am OCD and there is no way I could let anyone beta read anything I have done, let alone someone I am not sure would tell me how awesome I am. Now normally OCD means obsessive compulsive disorder, but in this case it means one cowardly dudette. Don't judge me.
The same night she sent it to me with a synopsis of what the story was about. Uh-oh. I was in trouble. This story sounded like nothing I would ever read. It was young adult, I am chick-lit. It was about sexting (I had no idea what that was at the time) and internet bullying and high school.
I went to bed that night so afraid that I wouldn't get into the story. Never mind not like the writing. How was I going to give feedback to this great friend I had made if I couldn't even bring myself to read the story. Was I a...(gasp) book snob? I didn't think so, but how could I know?
The story was...wait for it...AMAZING. She had me from the very first line. I was trying hard to stay in the moment of being a beta reader but I kept getting pulled into the story. I had to read every chapter two and three times so I could point out where I found inconsistencies with plot or character development and after a while found myself resenting the intrusion of being a beta reader because I just wanted to get lost in the story.
What I learned here is that sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone to improve yourself as a person. I got to read a great story and now I have a job as a beta reader for one of my newest friends.
If only I could find a way to make a living of this. So have you stepped outside of your comfort zone lately? Tell me!