Can you read my book/critique my chapter/edit these pages for me?
I would love to! I love doing all those things! But you probably don’t want to ask me.
The reality is that I don’t have much free time, and so I guard what little I have very carefully and use it to read for pleasure. And hang out with the people I love, of course! But mostly read. And while I’m sure your writing is fantastic, if you ask me to read it in a professional capacity, that’s not going to be pleasure read for me but a work thing that I’ll do during my working hours. I break my working hours down into the big blocks of writing I have to do daily, the support-the-writing stuff I also have to do daily, and then anything else that fits in order of priority.
My friends get priority. So do any requests from my editors. Or contests I might have agreed to judge. That means that unless I know you, and feel connected to you in some way (and honestly, even then) it’s going to take me a long, long time to get around to reading your work. And when I do, I tend not to pull my punches when I give feedback. At all.
You might want to ask someone else, is all I’m saying.