Friday Roundup 2/3: What are Beta Readers?

Ooooh buddy, ya ever just lose a week?

No, probably not. No, because most of you have real lives and families and lovers and jobs and things that generally keep you accountable.

Bravo, my friends. I feel envy.

Maybe things began fraying a bit with Tuesday’s Fecebook (that was a typo, but I decided to keep it for obvious reasons) feed reading. Oh boo hoo, Megg.

I know, we’re all struggling.

Anyway, I’m taking a nod from a favorite Podcaster, Tim Ferriss, and doing a Friday Roundup of things I found during the week that helped me on the creative pursuit, the writing quest, or just to be happier. Hopefully it will also be a drop in the bucket toward keeping myself accountable…

Am I really doing things out here? Reeeeally?

redhead ragdoll beside a computer

It’s FRIDAY the 3rd, y’all! Do you know what I’m doing this weekend? Looking at stars, slurping oysters, drinking cider, and eating queso. Those are future highlights, but let’s talk about the past.


The Friday Roundup!


1. Buffer

I am so ambivalent toward social media. It enters my life receiving a perfect balance of love and agony from my heart. I’ve tried to do Twitter before and generally I feel like, “who cares?”

But it’s a thing; I’m going to stop resisting. Namely because I’ve heard/read over and over again (from Jeff Goins and Joanna Penn, for example) that if you’re an introvert writer and you want to get anywhere, you best have a Twitter presence.

Most things take a village. I get it. Twitter is the perfect writer’s village because it only requires a few minutes of interaction a day with other like-minded people. It’s socialization without the showering.

Because I can’t bring myself to log in several times throughout the day, I use Buffer. It’s free (unlike Hootsuite) and simple. I type in a bunch of tweets at once and it releases them on a specified schedule.

It ain’t Twitter maximization, per se, but I’ll get there. So far, my numbers are STAND-OUT!  16 followers…sha-BOOM! (Please for the love of god follow me.)


2. Tinariwen

Music is important to how I work and feel, and Mali-based Tinariwen’s new album Elwan (translates to “elephant”) makes me work and feel happy. It also kind of takes me away from America for a second, and that is desirable.

They’ve been around for over 20 years and are so, so solid on their own, but the album also has guests appearances by Kurt Vile and Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stoneage).

Free listen for the next few days  if you click on the above link…SO GOOD!


3. Upwork for Literature Editing

The biggest highlight of this week is that I got my book ready to send out to editors. A big, overwhelming milestone. 

I’ll expound on the book draft/editing process in a forthcoming post, but the gist is that I wanted to work with several editors in a sequence of least “professional” to most. Basically paying less for the initial edits to get rid of the glaring issues and paying more once the book is in better shape.

So, what are Beta Readers?

They are the beautiful bookworms of the world that read your book (often for free) and provide honest feedback.

For my book of about 55k words, I made an employer profile on Upwork and offered $30 per reading+phone call review and received over a dozen highly-qualified willing readers. I landed on six and so far it has been divine.

You can use Ppwork for just about anything freelance-related, so try it out!


4. Using a Discipline Calendar


That is what you’re thinking; I’m humble, but I’ll try to take it in.

I am but a simple woman. Sometimes in my simplicity, it takes me a very long time to hit upon what others have been doing since always. I have combined the to-do list with a calendar. Give me prizes.

But really, it’s simple and I know you’ve thought of this before, but it actually works. The struggle to become routine-oriented is real. Phone lists/apps are no good. Regular to-do lists are no good.

A tangible, easily editable week-long calendar is what you need.

calendar to-do list example

I didn’t blur this out because I want you to see how many things went uncrossed this week and also that for friday I wrote in “shower”

This way you can tackle each day with an easy look backward to what has been accomplished and and forward to what is still lacking. 

The calendar-to-do list sits by my desk and I take it to bed with me at night (sexy!) so that I can jot down the creepers that fill my mind before sleep and the ones that surface as I journal in the morning. It’s my little buddy.

Each day has a list with rollover-tasks from the day before and the side is where I put ongoing things that need to get tackled at some point.

I got my printout here.


5. Friday Roundup

The final thing I hit upon this week is…this thing. The Friday Roundup. Even having gotten to this point in my typing, I feel like, you know…maybe my week hasn’t been so unproductive?

Apart from reminding me believe I am not useless in productivity, hopefully there’s something you can find useful here too.

If you have any things for me to try out, listen to, look at, whatever, let me know. I love exploring random things and will honestly check out whatever you send my way (well, probably). Leave a comment!


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