In the city where I live, sidewalk musicians are a common sight. And outside my office, the same guy with his guitar and pony tail sets up shop, day after day.
Unfortunately, and there’s no nice way to put this, he’s terrible. His guitar playing mangles the melody — whether it’s The Beatles or Bach — and his singing rarely is in tune. It’s painful to pass this guy on the street and, not surprisingly, few people stop to drop money in his guitar case … which he could use to pay for some more voice and guitar lessons!
If only someone had been frank with him and said: “Dude, you’re not ready yet to do this for a living.”
That’s why writers need to get an honest assessment of their work before they jump into publishing. Ladies, this is the person you take shopping because you know they’ll tell you if the pants make you look fat.
Your honest assessment can come from a critique group — there are local ones everywhere — or it can come from a family member or work colleague IF you trust them to be truthful with you. Listen to that constructive criticism and I guarantee it’ll make you a better writer.