Are you a Beta Waita?

So, I recently finished the rough draft of my WiP. (YAYYYYYYY!) I spent a few days on that delicious, unmatched high that comes with completing a novel. The joy! The relief! The sense of accomplishment! The promise of possibility!

Ah, if only it lasted. Alas, that rush doesn’t hold on long. Why, you may ask? Because after a short edit, I sent my baby off to beta readers.

Don’t get me wrong, my beta readers are FABULOUS. I love each and every one of them. But still, I find myself struggling as I become the dreaded Beta Waita. (Or Beta Waiter, as in one who is waiting on betas. I know, I know, my cheesy slang is confusing.)

It’s kind of terrifying. I mean, they’re actually reading my book!! And they’re gonna think things about it! And they’re gonna read that one scene that isn’t so tight! And they might think it’s LAME! Or they might say they like it, but SECRETLY think it’s lame!

Is your book with beta readers right now? If so, here’s a helpful list of things you can do to pass the time!

1. Rock back and forth, alone with your thoughts.

Family Guy: Stewie rocking back and forth

2. Consume calories.

3. Crying always helps.

I’m so helpful, right?? No need to thank me. Giving back is just my nature.



  1. Jessie Oliveros on August 30, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    Not now. But I do have crit partner who is waita-ing for me to finish her book. (That was a very poor attempt at cleverness I know.) Two of your pictures didn’t come through on your post.

  2. Jessie Oliveros on August 30, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Oh now I see the last one. That’s really, really funny.

  3. Janet Johnson on August 30, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I have been there recently, and aaack, no fun!

    Waiting in general, though. I don’t like it. 🙂

  4. Renee Collins on August 30, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks, Jessie. I’m clearly having technical difficulties with this post. 🙂

  5. on August 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Beta readers are so cruel! Not the ones who are writers–they know better. But most of my beta readers take FOR! EVER! to get back to me. I’m considering offering a cash lottery, and they have to get back within a month to be eligible. 🙂

  6. ladonna watkins on August 30, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    It isn’t fun waiting. I’m surprised anyone sleeps during this time. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Patrick Volpe on August 30, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Yay! On finishing it! Boo to the waiting 🙁
    From someone who has yet to finish writing the waiting doesn’t sound so bad. (Hope that doesn’t come back to bite me in the end)

    Random mostly unrelated question: is that David Tennant in the last gif? 🙂

  8. Chantele Sedgwick on August 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    No need to fret my dear! 😉

  9. Renee Collins on August 30, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Janet-Yeah, I think that’s the overall problem. I just hate waiting in general. 🙂

    Dayla- Luckily, my beta readers don’t leave me to my misery for too long. 🙂 It’s more the anticipation of how they will like it that gets to me.

    Ladonna-haha, true. Though now that you mention it, a nice, two or three week hibernation might just be the ticket!

    Patrick-Thanks! The truth is, for my very first book, I was excited. Somehow, I’ve acquired more and more anxiety over the years. 🙂

    And, I’m not sure if it is David Tennant. It kind of looks like him, doesn’t it? I hope so, because any blog is better with a picture of David Tennant on it. 🙂

    Chantele-haha, I’ll try. 🙂

  10. Read my books; lose ten pounds! on August 31, 2011 at 12:56 am

    LOLOLOLOL. YES, This is how I feel. This is how I felt while my book was being edited! SIGH!

  11. Sara Raasch on August 31, 2011 at 1:21 am

    If you’re talking about having finished the book I think you’re talking about, well, then I WANT VERY MUCH TO BE ONE OF THE BETAS ON WHICH YOU WAIT.

    Please and thank you.

  12. KLM on August 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I’m right there with ya, sistah. I’m waiting on edits from my Ninja Editrix Friend, to whom I send all my stuff for whipping into shape. I owe her three kidneys at this point. She said she’ll have my ms back to me by tonight. And so I wait….

    You know that classic Irish prayer: “May the road rise to meet you… etc”

    We writers should have one: “May the waiting go easy on your mind…or failing that, may you be lucky enough to fall into a coma so it doesn’t seem so bad.”

  13. Renee Collins on August 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Read-It’s a crazy process, isn’t it? 🙂 I’ll probably gain ten pounds while I wait. 😉

    Sara-hahaha, hey don’t tempt me! I’m always collecting more betas. *evil grin*

    Kristen-HA! Okay, that’s hilarious. I’m going to embroider that prayer on a lovely piece of fabric and frame it on my wall. 🙂

  14. J.R. Johansson on August 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    😀 Great advice, all. Ahem…*dives back in to reading*

  15. Renee Collins on August 31, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Jenn- Haha, no rush, of course. 🙂 I swear this post wasn’t a subtle guilt trip to my betas.

  16. Kasie West on September 1, 2011 at 3:29 am

    I finished it! I finished it! AND LOVE IT!!!!! But this is very cruel of me because I want to do a little write up and like to take one night to let it simmer. So I will be sending it tomorrow. But the fact that I told you it would take me a while because I’m super busy and it didn’t take me a while at all should say a lot. 🙂

  17. Renee Collins on September 1, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    KASIE!! omg, you did read that quick! You’re awesome!

    Take all the time you need. I’ll just be here, grinning like a fool 🙂 🙂

  18. Miriam Forster on September 2, 2011 at 4:15 am

    Lol, I’m an editing-waita right now. 🙂

    But I WILL be a beta-waita when my first round of revisions is done.

  19. Candice on September 9, 2011 at 12:17 am

    I love waiting for beta edits!! But then again, I do have the best betas in the UNIVERSE!!

  20. Melanie on September 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Okay, first of all, I don’t know how I wasn’t following you. I “know” you from AW (I’m mellymel, though that might mean nothing to you) and I follow you on Twitter. Anywhoo, yaya for being finished. I’m about 8K from being finished with my current project. And then I will totally be entering the BETA WAITA phase. It is so hard. And a little nauseating. But I will eat chocolate and consume wine and of course that will add to my nausea. It’s a vicious cycle. 😉