At one point, I was seriously considering not completing “The UnHoly Pursuit” series and sub-series. Although, it nearly all of it was already written down and some had been written for years but transferring it from paper to computer is a trying task.
One day I mentioned this to a friend and she said. “You can’t quit now. You’ve gotten me interested in it. I want to know what happens next.”
I told her to go read the manuscripts.
“I’m not wading through all those papers to find out what happens next. You’re putting it together and then I’ll read it.
I was like, “Ok, then I guess you’ll never know.”
She came over a few days later and I wasn’t working on anything. She looked around and asked where was the next book? I told her the book was in the box on the table.
She marched in the dining room littered with volumes of note pads the old-fashioned kind saying, “This is not a book, this is a pile of papers” before asking which one was next.
I told her it didn’t matter. No one would ever read it.
But she refused to let me quit and to make matters worse she called another friend saying I was feeling sorry for myself and haven’t published a single book yet.
They all ganged up on me and helped me out with the transferring of the work from paper to computer saying there was no way I was quitting now. We’re going to get this ready for a publisher whether I like it or not. I appreciate what they did for a lot of this work was written while I was in a hospital ICU with my husband or/ mother and some parts reminds me of those days.
As you can see, these are the type of friends I have. They criticize, poke fun and holes in the plot if it sounds too unrealistic and even laugh at my characters. So, the books have gone through a lot of hard criticism before I send them to the publisher. My friends will not say it is a delightful story if it’s not. Sometimes they point out so many flaws I tell them to get away from my books or you write it! But they pay me no mind and keep at the phrase or paragraph until it appeases them.
No, not all my beta readers are friends. Those who receives the finished work I do not know them. They are people selected by the publisher. But my friends I thanks them for pushing me a lot of days when I simply wanted to give up. Throw the notes in a box and seal them forever.
My point is I know it’s said use someone else for all these things. Because friends will not be as stern and critical as someone with no connections to you. But I disagree, unless you’ve a huge budget to start your writing career. These services do not come cheap. Most authors have families to support. So unless they earn extra on a second or third job there’s nothing left to spends thousands on getting a book published that may or may not deliver a return on their investment.
I’m not criticizing anyone who use them. My publisher uses them. But the person ask me how something is be said or how I intended that it go.
Those you don’t know aren’t going to type of hundreds of pages for free. They aren’t going to send out manuscripts to publishers for free. They aren’t going to sit with you at late hours and go over the text with you. So those who have friends and family they are going to be your greatest support system. Because let’s face it. Writing can be lonely and depressing. These people are who are going to be your therapist when you need one. They’re the ones who will give you a swift kick in the pants when you need that too. They’re the people who are going to remind you you need to stop and eat or go outside.
Just the mailings to literary agents and publishing companies alone is enough to make many people simply give up. Everyday the drudging task of writing and putting a book together cause many be writers give up and I was almost one of them.