I Am Not a Stalker

I tend to get twitchy and hovery when beta-readers have my book. I go all mother-hen on my words and want to protect them, justify them, or generally cling to them.

My words… they be stealin’ my words!

How I handled cheerfully sending off submissions and waiting weeks or months to hear back last fall is beyond me. I was a basket case, sure, but I think maybe the lack of access to the reader helped me keep at least a little of my cool.

But for beta-reading… well… one of my readers is my husband. I can watch him read every page. I twitch every time he circles something and I can do sneaky side-eyes at the notes he’s writing. I can see how my book is affecting someone as it’s happening.

It must really suck for him.

And as for my other reader? Well, I talk to Emmie Mears just about every day, but I can’t stalk her in quite the same way. I’m reduced to lurking, wondering, biting my nails, and trying not to send her emails that contain each of the pilfered notes from my husband’s reading.

Me, not waiting or watching. Totally.

I think I need another hobby, guys.

Writers, how do you handle the period when beta-readers have your book? Do you hover? Or am I just exceptionally neurotic?