Wow, I thought I'd missed a ton of stuff! Shame I haven't...
Important stuff first - Faralas, I am sorry to hear you have been ill, and hope you are fully recovered now, or at the least are firmly on the way there.
Plowking - good luck with your story.
Anyone who genuinely wants to be a GOOD writer needs the negative as much as the positive, if not more so. It is far too easy to get into the trap of thinking yourself capable when you are not if all you get is praise, or of becoming satisfied with mere adequacy.
As writers, or potential writers , would you agree that your emotional history and state are important, even critical tools for your written work?
No. Because I am not writing about me. The character's emotional history and state are vital; my own a distraction to be suppressed or ignored. The essential thing is to know your character so well that you become them while writing them - you feel what they feel.
Your emotional state may help dictate the type of stories you wish to write, but there is no greater trap than writing yourself instead of your character.
If I bother to read something at all, then I want to make a genuine attempt to enjoy it. Do you, as a writer, also do this, or more typically perhaps, give a surface reading and either take away only a superficial pleasure or only to the extent the authors particular style is able to capture you?
I read primarily to enjoy, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also looking for ways to improve my own writing. I have found that the more you understand of writing technique, the more you become aware of plot holes and poor characterisation and things like that. Things I used to be able to ignore if I even noticed in the first place I cannot now miss. The downside of writing, I suppose.
This leads to another interesting question about whether the author has a responsibility to the reader to involve them, or can feel free to focus on other elements of the story, etc. and trust that the readers imagination can fill in certain blanks or weaker spots.
Your readers will only stick around as long as they are enjoying what they read. If you fail to engage them, they will find something else. Why should anyone continue to read something they have no interest in, after all?
If you want other people to read and enjoy your work, you must give them a reason to do so - which usually means strong characterisation and a solid and intriguing plot. Any reader who is not wondering what happens next and does not like your character(s) will not return.
I think we have an interesting question raised, to wit, would you as a writer think it important to focus on continuous improvement in technical aspects of your own work, (even in posts ) or rather agree with Kiya's idea that working out the ideas and developing a comfortable writing style is a higher priority? And are these ideas necessarily in opposition?
They are entirely compatible, and a part of the same thing. A good writing style requires (And even demands) a good grasp of the language you are writing in. A reader may forgive the odd error here and there, but a piece littered with errors is annoying, and distracts from the story immensely.
But better to write something awful than nothing at all?
If you have ever read The Legend Of Althalas
by David Eddings, you will know the answer to that question already. It is far, far better to write nothing - or if you must write rubbish, then not to let anyone else see it. You lose less readers that way.
I've written plenty of garbage in my time, but you won't ever see any of it on the web, I assure you - let alone in print!