Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Where I give OCD a whole new meaning...

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!

8 comments:

Linda G. said...

Yay! A beta Happily Ever After. Isn't it wonderful when things work out like that? :)

Patty Blount said...

*gasps*
*giggles*
*cries*
*hugs*

Karla Nellenbach said...

It's always great when beta relationships work out like that!

ALTHOUGH, I am kind of OCD myself and now you have me a little worried that when (IF) I ever get mine done, I won't measure up to the very high bar your other writer set. Oy :(

abby mumford said...

"one cowardly dudette." are you in my brain?

i, too, recently put myself out of my comfort zone when i sent my WIP to a friend of mine who is perchance a YA librarian. she's the first person who wasn't in one of my grad school classes (2 years ago) that i had read it. it ended well, but yet, now i'm reverting back to my OCD roots as the whole querying process starts....

Sue London said...

Great story!

Although not cowardly as I once was I could definitely use some comfort zone stretching. :)

Candyland said...

I've beta read for things I'd never read in life and I think it actually helped with my writing.

Elizabeth Ryann said...

Fun times. That's awesome. I'm thinking back on it now, and I don't think I've EVER beta read something that is the sort of thing that I'd choose to read on my own. Huh. That seems kinda weird, doesn't it? It definitely helped with the detachment I needed to make notes, though.

Jeannie said...

This is great. Stepping out of the box is always a good thing and it keeps our lives moving forward. Your friend is lucky to have you.