How to know if I'm good enough...
Question: I know that I should have people read my story/stories to get an idea of whether I have such talent or not, but what if I can't share my stories with anyone? I have a friend that has no hesitation in asking people to read sections of her book, and she does it often (though not quite as often now). It's made it where people are tired of having to read a friend's work. I don't want to be another one of those that just gets on people's nerves. So, I can only have my mom read my work, and all she can really do is help me find grammar problems. Plus, you have to think that as my mother she can be bias. I could have my father read it, but that would just end in a screaming match because he doesn't like that my writing isn't all rainbows and butterflies.
I really need advice. What can I do, or are there no other options?Answer:
One option is to join a group of writers where everyone gives and receives feedback. You want a group that is as serious as you, where there are people advanced enough to challenge you and give really useful feedback as well as people of your own age and experience.
Another option is to post sections of your work on some of the online writing forums (under a pseudonym if you want to remain anonymous) and get feedback there. Again, you may have to be willing to give feedback to others in return. There are many such forums, and you have to check them out first. Some are a lot better than others.
Third option: take a writing course where you will get feedback from the instructor.
Fourth: there may be some local writing contests you can enter that give some feedback (avoid the ones that charge a fee to enter).
Finally, you may be able to find a venue that will publish your writing, no matter what your experience. School papers, local papers, fanzines, alternative/independent/non-profit journals, blogs, writing.com, open mic poetry readings, etc.
The point is that if you look around, you should be able to find a variety of people who can read your work - preferably ones whose opinion you can trust - without asking too much of any one person. As your work starts getting better comments, you can move up to more knowledgeable readers and more prestigious venues.