I am an aspiring writer. Well, maybe it would be more accurate to say I am an aspiring writer. I take my craft seriously and write a furious volume of pages on a weekly basis. Yet, I need someone to constantly look over them and give me a good critique and feedback.
Any serious writer has someone they trust to give them honest and objective feedback on rough drafts. Editors at publishers are thought by readers to do this, and for established authors that is true. But, I do not have many sales under my belt yet, so publishers expect my submissions to be nearly perfect when I first send them in.
I live in a small town without any other writers, so I am glad to have found a website online where I can communicate with other writers and established authors. Even the ones already making a living doing fiction need someone in the craft to look over their next words. For every page they actually sell, they likely wrote ten or even sometimes a hundred.
Early on, I used friends and family to look over my work, but they were always happy and encouraging. Do not get me wrong, I need that emotional support, but I also need to be told when my writing is not up to par or just not that interesting. It is a lot easier to get this feedback from someone looking for it themselves. The Internet also makes it real easy, because there is little emotional context to forum posts and emails. I consider my pen pals friends, but the electronic nature of our communications makes it real easy to be honest with one another about the writing itself.
It would be nice to know a writer or two here in the rural counties of my state, but I get what I need online.