― Les Brown
Do you sometimes put too much stock in what others say? Spend too much time worrying what other think? These are the two foremost traits of the dreaded internal editor. They are deadly to the pursuit of a writing career.
I’ll be the first one to say we all need a little help from our friends. Critique partners, mentors, like minded aspiring writers, Beta readers, and of course the professional editor whom we hire to help us make our work …better. That is the end goal, a story that is just better. and that’s a good thing, right?
But there sometimes is just too much of a good thing. So we have to know when to say no.
You know you can do it. Say it with me now. I appreciate your input, I honestly value the time and thought you gave to this, but I just don’t agree. But make sure you know the reason why you don’t agree and that the reason is justified.
Anyone can correct my grammar. Almost everyone does, because sometimes it’s necessary. I have a thought, and not being the best typist, it goes down hard and fast. Mostly hard, and often incorrect. In spite of that, I sometimes don’t take well-meant advice if I feel it interferes with “voice”.
You are always allowed to say no, even though many times you shouldn’t. There are those writers who come seeking advice and encouragement who want you to approve their choices. And that is not always possible. When the writer refuses to listen to the reason for changes, they don’t approach– and are certainly not receptive to– improving their writing.
The opinion most authors have of aspiring writers who fail to follow advice is often quite low. If you don’t understand the reason for the suggested changes, ask. Listen carefully, sometimes it is simply a matter of structure or placement, not big changes in the grand scheme of things.