If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself, but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
As a writer, I’ve learned through experience that my craft improves only when I’m willing to listen to good advice. I’m fortunate to work with excellent editors at Tyndale. They can look into my manuscript and point out what needs to be fixed. They know what’s missing, what is overdone, questions that need answering, which characters live and breathe, and which need CPR.
I work hard every day to write the best story I can with believable characters that (hopefully) come alive for the reader. I am also well aware that my editors want the same thing. They work to help me improve. I can get too close to a story. As with proofreading, I see what I think is there, what I want to be there. Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes the story gets bogged down with rabbit trails and soliloquys. I climb on my little mental soapbox because I want readers to understand what I’m trying to show. And then instead of showing, I’m telling. Big no-no in writing. If the story doesn’t get the point across all by itself, it isn’t a good story.
Listening to constructive criticism is essential if you want to learn and get better at whatever you do, whether it’s writing a book or digging a ditch. Frankly, there isn’t a lot of difference between the two jobs.
I’ve been writing for forty years and have published numerous books, but I’m still a novice. I always will be. Why? Because there is always room for improvement.