My husband, Aaron, does not Beta Read my writing. He is incredibly supportive and always willing to talk out specific ideas I’m thinking about, but he doesn’t read “unfinished” writing. He prefers to wait until my writing has passed through an editor and is at least on its way to being published.
There are a couple reasons for this; number one is that he’s not comfortable in that role. The last thing on earth he wants to do is say the wrong thing at the wrong time and keep me from submitting something because he made a flippant comment. Secondly, he knows me really really well and tends to see the seeds of my reality that blossom into unrelated fiction. Aaron has a hard time not pointing these things out, and sometimes that’s like someone describing how they make sausage right as you go to take a big bite of bratwurst. Sometimes it doesn’t bother you, others it can completely put you off your lunch. Either way it generally enhance the eating experience any.
I felt weird about this for a really long time, because generally when writers talk about how their partners support their writing they talk about their spouse being their First Reader. I felt like there might be something wrong with me as a writer or with our partnership because it has never really worked that way for me/us. Eventually I saw another writer blog about how they didn’t have that relationship with writing and their spouse and things worked out better for everyone that way.
I mentioned this fact at a panel at World Horror and I had someone come up to me after who was just as thankful to hear this from me, as I’d been to read it in the past. I wanted to make sure that I put this out publicly for the people who likewise need to see it.
I have an amazing partner I’ve been with for 14 years now. He supports me and my writing, but isn’t and can’t be my First Reader. That isn’t just OK, it works out great for us. Figure out what works best for you and yours and don’t worry about what anyone is or isn’t doing.