The one thing I dislike the most about writing a book is that feeling of not making enough progress. You spend hours on a project like this, yet you feel like nothing good has come out of it. I’ve been stuck in that phase for a long time. I’ve been unsatisfied with my finished books, unhappy with my writing posts, and ultimately upset about how long it’s been taking to write this one.

But I’m finally reaching a point where my book is going somewhere.

I’m nearing the end of my third draft!

For Part I, at least. After Draft 2 I decided to split my book up into parts and work on each one at a time. By doing this, editing seems less daunting and I can finally focus on my writing.

When I first got to the editing stage, there was so much work to be done. I’m not going to lie—there still is. The good news is that I’ve made a crazy amount of progress. This is the first time in a while where I’ve felt like my book is showing some signs of growth, and I’ve become more attached to this project than ever.

Beta reading is coming up!

This is the part I honestly can’t believe. The thought of beta reading (as you know) scares me to death, and the moment of sending out the documents is finally approaching. I’ve never been so excited and frightened at the same time! To celebrate this rapidly approaching milestone I thought I’d share a little story with you all!

Story time with Melissa (hey it’s been a while since the last time!)

In the process of requiting beta readers, I decided I should look for a mixture of both writers and readers. I knew several writers to contact online, but not many readers, so I decided to connect with people through my “real life.” So here comes my awkward story about a rejection I got.

Okay, so there’s this boy at my school who is always reading fiction in the same place during lunch. I had seen him there the whole year, but had never talked to him. That’s where I got the brilliant idea to ask him if he’d like to be a beta reader for my book. Oh gosh…

Anyway, I gathered the guts to go up to him during lunch. He was hunched over a book, ignoring the hundreds of people passing by. I hovered over him and said, “Excuse me!”

He looked up.

“Um, hey!” I laughed, probably because I didn’t know what else to do. “So do you—um—by any chance…wanna be a beta reader?”

I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. I didn’t explain that I wrote the book, what beta reading was (a lot of readers I know had never heard the term before), or how the process worked. I just asked and stood there staring down at him awkwardly.

The boy looked up at me and blinked. “No.” He frowned. “Sorry.” Then he turned back to the book on his lap and waited for me to walk away.

It was literally one of the most crushing experiences ever. I don’t know why it hurt my feeling so much. I was just silly for thinking anyone I saw reading would know what beta reading was and would want to do it for me. Now I just laugh at the experience. At least the approaches I’ve made after that have been far  less awkward.

Okay, you can go ahead and tell me that I shouldn’t be asking people from school to beta read for me, but honestly I couldn’t think of a better place to find readers. Sure, I could find people online, but it’s also nice to have people who can have in-person conversations with you as well. I have a good group of beta readers from my school, most of which I have classes with. Now I just need to cross my fingers and hope their criticism on my book doesn’t make me fear them 😀

Also, apologies for missing so many posts in a row. That was not cool. I’ve just been so incredibly busy with my book, school, and sports that I haven’t had the energy to use up on writing a post when I get home from school. I might experiment with writing in the morning to see if it helps. I really want to post consistently!

Summer’s going to be great!

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Melissa Torrefranca

Hello writers of the world! I'm Melissa, the founder / designer of Teen Authors Journal. Although I create blog posts every Tuesday at 4 p.m. (Pacific Time), I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing! I'd love to learn more about all of you, so please don't hesitate to shoot me a message! 🙂

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