How Do You Deal with Beta Reader Anxiety?

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Happy Wednesday All! Today is Insecure Writers Support Group Day and you know what that means: time to thrust our fears and insecurities uponst the world.

Co-hosts today are TB Markinson, Tamara Narayan, Shannon Lawrence, Stephanie Faris, and Eva E. Solar. Make sure you stop by their blogs and say hello!

And guess what else? IWSG is hosting a short story contest! The deadline is November 1. The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Click here to get the deets.

Okay. So, the first thing I’d like to do is apologize for being MIA. If you’ve been checking milk cartons for my pictures these last couple of months, don’t fret. I’m okay (and I promise to get caught up with all of you soon). My days have been insane lately and I only have about two hours of quiet in the mornings before spending the day chasing Le Munchkin (she loves to take my flip flops and run around the house. Don’t ask me why).  I’ve also been focused on finishing The Doggone Book (and a few other things that I’ll tell you all about later), and guess what???? I finally have a beta reader ready draft. Woo-hoo! *Throws confetti*

But, alas.

That brings me to my insecurity for this month. You know how you work on a story for a very very very long time, unleash it into the hands of others, and then develop anxiety that somehow, despite your best effort at writing a good story, the novel will absolutely suck? Well, that’s my issue these days (on top of wresting with what I’m going to write next). In fact, I’ve somehow developed beta reader anxiety (this is not to be confused with the anxiety a beta reader might feel when they get a story they’re just not into, but I should probably write about that as well).

To combat my angst, I’ve been telling myself that it’s just a story. As a writing professor once said to me, “How can it be wrong if you’re just making it up?” I’ve also been telling myself that in order to make the story better, what I need is good, solid feedback–no matter how much it stings. As writers, we know we need to have thick skin but our novels are our babies and you know what happens when somebody calls your baby ugly, right? Them’s fightin’ words!

What about others? How do you deal with beta reader anxiety? I’d love to hear your thoughts!