We writers are usually known to spend most of our time alone, letting words speak instead. This time of writing can become lonely if the writer does not connect with other writers. Also, there is no room for personal growth in the writing if one does not receive feedback and criticism.
Writing communities are a great place to connect with writers from all over the world and share thoughts, feelings, and ideas. It is a place to receive critiques on pieces and use them to grow.
There are plenty of writing communities out there. It is easy to connect with other writers who share a love of a favorite genre or style. A few good ones include: NaNoWriMo, The Next Big Writer, and WritersCafe.org. These have fellow writers who will gladly support and guide a writer asking for help. You can share thoughts and ideas too.
If you join these communities, you will benefit from them. Now, having family and friends look at and assess your stories is not a bad thing. It can be good feedback. But writers have a better idea of what to look for in terms of style, plot, and character development and will probably tend to be more honest than family. They understand the nuances that come with each word. They will provide assistance in any way that is needed to improve a piece. They may have information about how to get published if that is an end goal. Writers want each other to do well. So use these communities to connect with fellow writers and grow with each other. You won’t regret it.