I am about half way through editing my novel and plan to put it out to some Beta readers as soon as I finish. This prompted the question from a close friend “who are you going to give it out to”. Having not given it much thought, I replied “probably the guys at my writers group.” My logic was that I wanted to get some feedback on where I am going wrong, if there are any holes in the plot, is there something I could do better, etc… and other writers would look for these things. Then I was challenged on this logic, the argument being that writers have their own ideas on what is good and what is not, they have their own style. Readers on the other hand do not have another agenda, they just want to read and will know if something is good or not. After all “you don’t bake bread for a baker” I was told.
This is sound advice and I agree that I should seek a wider audience for my Beta read, but it also highlights that we should challenge our thoughts constantly if we want to grow. A narrow mind will only ever hold us back from better things.