Read Me!

I have a friend who happily beta-reads all of my writing. This, of course, makes me very happy in return. She’s very sharp at picking out things that need to be clarified or rewritten, and she likes my work, no matter how low-key strange it is. In fact, the more low-key strange it is, the more she likes it.

Photo by Liza Summer on

The way I got this friend to read was pretty simple: I asked a bunch of my friends if they’d like to beta-read a novel, and she was the one who answered. I didn’t single anyone out and ask, because I didn’t want to pressure anyone to say yes. Some people don’t read, and they don’t want to be singled out as non-readers. Others aren’t reading what you’re writing. It would be nice to have more than one beta reader so we could discuss what’s happening, but it’s okay.

If you have a friend who’s a writer, one of the best gifts you can give them is to read their stuff. Even if they haven’t hit it big — especially if they haven’t hit it big! Writers need readers to feel like they’ve accomplished something. We may write for ourselves, but we know that writing/reading are a transactional model, and we crave being read. So give us a present!

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