Feedback is useful. It can help you highlight areas for improvement and can be encouraging, identifying your strengths.
So, it’s a good idea to get your friends and family to read your work, right?
Well, actually no.
It’s fine to get your friends and family to read your manuscript if all you want is to be told how wonderful and amazing it is (depending on how kind your friends and family are…). If that’s your goal then go on ahead and show them.
But as a writer, what you should really be craving is useful critique of your work. Incisive comments regarding character, pace, plot and drive that will help you improve, sentence by sentence, word by word.
Your loved ones are extremely unlikely to be able to supply you with this sort of input.
This is not their fault, it’s simply that in the vast majority of cases, your friends and family will not be professional or experienced writers (if they are, then you are probably the exception to this rule), and in most cases won’t have an interest in words any further than reading magazines and novels.
This means that the insights they can give about your work will be limited to ‘I liked it’ and ‘I didn’t like it’.
And not only are these comments not particularly constructive, but they may not even be honest. I mean, is your mum really going to tell you she doesn’t like your writing? Probably not. And if your best mate says they don’t like it, it could just be because they like beach romance and you’re writing hardcore sci-fi.So, if you really want someone to read your work, make it other writers, and make sure you read their work in return.