Google+ gave me a chance to meet a few writers, and this last week I was given a chance to beta read for an author working on her second book. I’m pretty excited about having had this opportunity, and it was a fun book to read. It was a trial run for me to test out some of my editing abilities, and I am still waiting for feed back.
In reality it’s done three or four things for me while I hope it was helpful for her. First, if you know me, I like to analyze to the nth degree everything from advertisements to theology to scientific experiments, but I cannot seem to really get focused enough to edit my own writing. Only a few times have I really settled down to do the work of editing something I’ve written.
Improving my writing skills was the primary reason I created this blog and assigned myself the task of writing a post a day, and over the last 14 months, I’ve improved in a number of areas that I never realized were associated with writing in the first place. It never crossed my mind that coming up with ideas and timing posts and marketing were all part of writing, and the more I write the more I realize that those are as essential as getting the words on the page.
I have even learned to write ahead of time – beating deadlines I set for myself by a week even. A few people have asked me if I get up early every morning to post, and I got to tell them no. WordPress has a schedule feature, and while for the first 10 months of this exercise I was writing posts late at night just before the day was out, I now write two or three days ahead of time.
This I really hope will be a step towards editing my work in the future, and this chance to work with someone’s fiction has been a great process to evaluate some of the things I look for in good writing, and hopefully, the lessons I learn there will come in good stead when writing here, writing sermons, or working on my own fiction.
Beta reading really psyched me up to get to work on some of my own fiction and non-fiction work. For a the last few years I have thrown together the occasional short story, and now I think I might work to get one of those published or work on something longer like a novel.
Either way, I hope I get a chance to beta read more in the future. If you have any works in the pipe line, let me know! I read pretty quick and will give you the best feed back I can, all I ask in return is for feedback on the feedback! I always want to keep improving!