20. Do I Have To?
A good question to ask when someone you trust offers feedback on your story, article, or essay that you find yourself resisting, whether because it entails cutting a turn of phrase you love, adding an explanation you think ought to be obvious, restructuring that goes far beyond simple cutting and pasting, or any number of other changes that make your head ache or your heart break:
Am I writing this for myself or for the person reading it?
That’s not as snarky as it may look on the page. Think of it instead as a useful reminder that you’re in service to the story—and the story is in service to the reader.