Giving a friend your work to read is a tricky one. Like everyone has said, and I am with them on this one, how can you tell a friend if their stuff is bad? You can't, well not without possibly ruining a beautiful friendship.
The good thing about JW (maybe I'll ask her if I can use her name) is that she is like a sister to me. We are much closer to each other than we are to our own sisters but even so I never ask her to be objective about my writing. I often ask her if she has enjoyed something and to be honest it wouldn't be the first time that she said "No," but always in a nice way. Its the same when she sends me a copy of some new artwork that she's created. About 90% of the time I look at something she sends me and think "What the ...?" and I'll say something along the lines of it not being my cup of tea but then every now and then she'll send me something that I think is brilliant and I tell her so.
Anyway, I don't think that I made myself clear in my last post. All that JW is doing is interpreting the editor's email for me - to read between the lines if you will. Its part of her job just in a different field so it's a bit like asking an estate agent to tell you what a house spec really means. As for RS, I never and I mean NEVER give her anything to read because she is too sweet to be objective about anything that any of her friends do and that is part of the reason that we love her. She was just commenting during a conversation that we had.
Its a bit like my day job. I am a "friend" to the paid staff that I work directly with on a daily basis but not really friends with if that makes sense. I have to keep that distance because I have to manage them and it would be really hard to tell a friend that something they had done was totally wrong
To my way of thinking friends are friends and professionals are professionals and they should both be treated as such.
The good thing for me is that JW and RS are two of the few people that know that I write so its not usually a problem.