IWSG-A Beta Reader among the Trees

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!

September 2 question – If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

The best possible thing you can do when you’re requiring a boost of energy, a reset of your brain, or a remedy for your boredom is to go spend time among trees. They will not speak encouragement or cliched sentiments. They will not drag you to a dance club or feed you triple chocolate truffles washed down with Red Bull. But they will restore you.

Trees cannot be your friend, your editor, or your personal driver. But they help us breathe, provide homes for wildlife we wonder at, and reduce our pollution. They show us the value of a supportive environment. When trees grow together, writes Peter Wohlleben in The Hidden Life of Trees, “nutrients and water can be optimally divided among them all so that each tree can grow into the best tree it can be.”

Peter Wohlleben began his forestry career in Germany assessing trees to be chopped for lumber mills. It was later when leading tourists in survival skills in the forest when he began to pay closer attention to all trees–the gnarly, the spindly, the stumps–and his wonder of trees grew to researching deeply this communicative community. He has written several books on trees, nature, and animals.

I imagine when walking among the trees with Peter Wohlleben, he’d point out details, patterns, and buried roots I did not see. I imagine his knowledge of nature and his wisdom from observing the social network of the forest would converse into themes and hypothesis that parallel universal stories. I imagine him deeply present in our setting, not letting a moment go by unnoticed.

If Peter Wohlleben was my beta partner, I think first we’d walk among the trees to kindle my energy, clear my mind, and remedy my writers block by igniting the present. Together, like a forest of trees, we’d discover how to grow my story into the best it can be.

Read more authors at IWSG

Who would you choose be your beta partner?

News: I’ll be back posting regularly on Wednesday starting September 2020. Also, if you have a moment, check out Inspiring Hope In You, a site I recently created dedicated to Writers’ Café and our soon to be launched book, Hope Connections.

23 thoughts on “IWSG-A Beta Reader among the Trees

  1. This is an interesting question, Lynn. Derek has been my only beta partner, so I’ll have to think about it. Your photo is absolutely gorgeous! I would love to be walking on that trail right now.


    1. Be great to take a walk with you walk the trees! That spot was in a place called Elbow Falls in Kananaskis County near Calgary, Alberta. You’d hear the falls and sounds of a mountain river as you walked that trail.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sandi, A beta partner is someone who reads your book before publishing and gives you feedback. Often they might be a spouse or family member, or friends, or other writers you respect and trust. Hope you are doing well!


  2. I’d walk among the trees any day. My husband is an arborist. Trees are very important to us. As I look out past our terrace, (we’re on the 4th floor) I see many many trees between us and the beach. It’s so soothing.


    1. Hi Joylene. To be married to an arborist would be having tree knowledge at your finger tips all the time, I am sure! Trees do soothe me too. And been studied people are happier when they can see trees in their neighbourhoods. Thanks for coming by my place today for the IWSG first Wednesday of the month post!


    1. Yes, he would! He has written on the wildlife among the trees too. Be fun to walk with him to show me where the birds are. I tend to never see them among the trees but do know they are there!


  3. Beautiful words, Lynn. I love walking in forests, listening to the breezes whisper among trees’ leaves and pine needles. Peter Wohlleben sounds like a great beta partner. I think I would choose Robin Jones Gunn. 😉 I love the grace and light that infuses her stories.


  4. Hi, Lynn! I’m so glad to see you back again this month! I loved your post today! I love trees, no doubt about it. I live on the edge of the high plains of Colorado, so I spend a lot of time among cottonwood trees. I consider some of them my “friends” because I’ve been visiting them and photographing them for over a decade. Thanks for featuring Peter Wohlleben and “The Hidden Life of Trees.” I read about this book a while ago, and it slipped off my radar. Your imaginary Beta reader meeting sounds awesome! Some of Colorado’s mountain aspen could spin quite a tale ~ They’re some of the largest living beings on the planet. Of course, my favorite tree hugger is JRR Tolkien. All the best to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve always wanted to visit that part of the states, Louise. I imagine it is somewhat similar to Alberta except some tree species are, like you mention, much bulkier and larger due to the climate and altitude! If you The Hidden Life of Trees hits your radar directly, I do recommend it!


  5. This is such a good question and so timely since my new book is coming out in November. My first thought is that I would love my beta partner to be N.T. Wright. I would learn so much from him and I have actually met him before.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve developed a new appreciation for nature this year and especially love walking in the trees (maybe it’s from being cooped up indoors for most of this year due to the pandemic). I like the idea of an insecure writers support group – writing can be lonely and encouragement from other writers go a long way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Lynn,
    What a beautiful thought, to be refreshed and strengthened among the trees. Our home is on a small wooded lot, that is becoming increasingly more difficult for us to maintain, as my husband and I grow older. I am not sure how long we will remain here, but I am so grateful for every moment of looking out the windows and watching the leaves dance and hearing the birds singing. God does give us ways and people to help encourage our writing! Blessings to you and your new ventures!

    Liked by 1 person

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