Currently I am writing "Behind the Pain" the prequel for "Behind the Hood." And right now I'm going through a stage wondering whether it is all worth it due to certain circumstances. Off course I will soldier on and publish it as I'm obligated to now, plus I love writing about these characters. But, often as a self-published author I feel stranded, by myself without anyone telling me that I'm doing the right thing with my stories. I'm sure many other writers feel the same way. Yes, there are sites like youwriteon.com and authonomy.com that can connect you to other writers who can help, but those sites can often confuse you when some people say everything is great and then you get a couple that chop down your confidence telling you the opposite. And often the people that chop you down don't give you a proper reason why, just give you a bad rating, but fail to point out the areas why it got this mark. And when they add that the story is well-written, you're left scratching your head and saying, "What the hell?" And, it's not just these sites that may confuse writers, because I've seen many books (even famous ones) getting 5 star reviews, which are set in such stark contrast to a bunch of 1 star reviews.
Of course everyone has different tastes, but still, how do you progress in a story when you're unsure if you're going down the right track? I'm lucky in relation to one thing: I have found a person, a fellow writer that I trust to be utterly honest with me. She read my first draft of "Behind the Pain" (the first 3 chapters) and said it was too similar to "Behind the Hood," so I rewrote it and the second version she liked, saying it was different enough to distinguish it from the first book.
Therefore, as a writer I think the most important thing is to find that one person who you know will be utterly honest with you, and not spin you a line of rubbish. Because, believe me, I have come across people that will tell you how wonderful something is just to save your feelings. But, those people don't realise that they are only doing your writing career damage and wasting your time.
Anyway, writers keep going and don't give up. I know it can be hard at times, but hopefully one day it'll all be worth it.