Thursday, July 14, 2011

Beta Anxiety

I tend to warn people before I ever agree to critique their work: I'm a heavy-handed commenter.  Just because you see a bunch of track changes marks should not scare you.  I comment on the good as well as what could use work.

But it's inevitable -- the moment I hit send on that email containing my notes and the marked up MS, I start to worry.  Not about the comments I made so much as the way they will be received.

I always, always try my hardest to put comments nicely, helpfully.  I would never intentionally be rude or overbearing to someone I'm working with -- ever.  Then that niggling doubt in the back of my mind creeps forward and harasses me again. "She's going to hate you.  You've scared her off for good this time."

Then I bite my fingernails until the writer comes back after reading my notes.  And it always turns out fine.

Still, I'm the anxious beta.  It gets better the more I work with my steady betas -- I know they expect my plethora of comments, and I know it won't overwhelm them.  But it doesn't seem to matter, every time I send another file off that anxiety trickles back in.

What about you guys?  Do you have beta anxiety?

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