Yesterday I was doing some research on an author whose scholarly works I find interesting, and my online search landed me on the acknowledgments page of her book, where she thanked her husband, whom she described as her first and most careful reader.
I’m not a writer per se, but this line of work calls for a good deal of writing–pitch letters, edit memos, correspondence that attempts to strike that fine balance between “authoritative and rude” (see Jim’s very funny post)–and if I can prevail upon him, my husband is my go-to reader, and vice versa. This is not always the case. In fact, I know plenty of writers who believe that romantic partners, married or otherwise, ought not be part of the process. That talking shop, evaluating drafts, and giving candid feedback is best done by a person with whom there exists some emotional distance.
How about you? Who is your first reader? If you have a significant other or a family member who reads your work in progress, is her role as a booster or a critique partner? There’s no shame in the former. Frankly, I think all writers could use at least one of each.