“If your friends like everything you write, they’re probably not the best critics. Don’t surround yourself with people who just tell you what they think you want to hear and that everything you do is great. It’s nice to hear compliments, but if they’re not being discerning and totally honest, they’re not doing you any favors.
“Find a group of people whose opinions you really respect, and I mean you respect the movies they like, the clothes they wear and, of course, the music they listen to. If you write smooth jazz and you play your stuff for somebody who likes death metal, you probably won’t get an opinion that’ll be of use.
“At a certain point, you might write something that is undeniable to all people, no matter which genres of music they might be into, but that usually isn’t the case. Seek out informed people who can really point you in clear directions.”