Monday, January 9, 2012

On Beta-ing

     Yesterday I was asked by someone at church if I did any writing over Christmas and my answer was, "actually, no."
     Did I feel guilty about this response?
     Actually, no.
     Why? Because I've been busy beta-ing for someone else. I know many people out there can write and beta at the same time. I can too except that I tend to be a slow beta-er. If I feel any guilt at all its because of that and not because I haven't been writing.
     I strongly advise not only to get your own stuff read by others (preferably strangers) but to read for others yourself. Beta-ing is like teaching. The teacher gets as much, sometimes more, than the student. I notice things when I beta and then say to myself, I've got to watch out for that in my own MS. These are things I probably wouldn't notice in my own MS in the first place.
     My point here (since I can't seem to find the right words this Monday morning) is that beta-ing helps teach you the craft of writing. It's helpful to a writer in all the right ways. So take the time and do it.


  1. Beta reading is the best experience in the world. One because of the learning aspect you've mentioned. Two because I get to read things I might not normally pick up for myself. Three because I've made some of the most awesome friends. Working on one now as a matter of fact :)

  2. I completely agree. I'm critiquing my friends manuscript right now and learning lots. Same thing when I beta read. Although I look forward to making more writing friends that I click with to share work. :)

  3. thanks for beta-ing for me! I truly appreciate it.