First Readers

I am in a state of advanced panic. My breathing is coming fast, my heart is pumping loudly, and my nerves are wound tight like a braid. My hand is continuously flickering over the ‘send email’ button on my computer. I am freaking out. REALLY freaking out.

There’s nothing more for me to work on on my novel anymore, not until I get feedback from people. I need actual, real live people to read it. Hence the panic. The magic email is waiting to be sent. I have read every word of my book so many times I have scenes memorized. I have been tearing apart sentences, rearranging scenes and rewriting dialog for the last three months of editing. I’ve got to move onto the next stage eventually. Now is the time.

It feels like handing people a roadmap to my heart and telling them to tear it apart. It feels like standing naked in a crowd of angry mobsters. I am giving people the key to the door to my world of words. The key to the place I have dwelt in for so long. My obsession. My escape. I am sharing my paradise with others, and telling them firmly to break it into pieces and expose its core. It’s like inviting the dwarves from the Hobbit movies – not the books, those dwarves are much more polite – into my home and telling them to smash everything to dust.

The message must be sent and received. I must open my heart and spill my daydream. I must take every blow I instruct my reader’s to hit me with. I hope they love it. I don’t want to put pressure on them. I’m sure it will be fine. But right now I’m panicking. The message sits in my outbox. Just do it, I tell myself. And I will. Soon enough.

To my three chosen first readers: welcome to my world. I chose you because I trust you. I chose you because one of you will be too nice, the other will be too mean and the third will be honest. You know which ones you are. Hopefully it will all balance out. You are my best friends. If I can bare my soul to anyone, I can bare it to you.

One.

Two.

Three.

Send.


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