When I was first testing the waters for writing, I couldn't even watch someone read my writing. If they made a grimace, it sent shivers through my spine. It could have been a burp working its way up their throat; it didn't matter to me. I needed a smiling face when someone read my heart and soul put down on paper. At that time in my development as a writer, I couldn't take the pressure; I needed approval for my writing.
Years later, I have learned to cherish other people's opinion. I want them to be honest. I need to know where my weaknesses are. I need to know how they see the story to be a better writer.
Of course, there are the people who will not give you an honest assessment or can only tell you what they hate about it. These are not the people who help you grow as a writer.
When you find one or two friends who are willing take the time to read and give you honest assessments about your story, they are worth their weight in gold. Hang on to these true friends.
C. Fern Cook