A Shout-Out to Beta Readers

I’m about to get my final edits from a professional proofreader for Ghosts of Macau: A Mac Ambrose Short Story, my second published piece. I expected to be as nervous as I was in the lead-up to the release of my first novel. I’m just not. And it’s a beautiful thing.

The difference is simple: I have people who honestly enjoyed my first attempt. Some have even agreed to be very constructive (and amazing) Beta readers.

This whole writing process is an independent path. You spend a lot of time staring into space, dreaming up stuff. After which you slam maniacally on the keyboard. Then you step back and read your first cut. No one is reading over your shoulder. At that moment, you must decide if the words on the screen have value, meaning. It’s a gloriously freeing moment – no boss, no teacher, no parent – but also a terrifyingly solo flight.

Last year I asked myself, “Is this worthy?”  Now, I ask, “will this entertain my small but growing tribe?”  Not only is that second question easier to objectively answer but it also encourages me to stretch out, try new things, and explore my voice with more honesty.  And that is a beautiful thing.

So, a special, deeply felt thanks to my Beta readers!