Remember that time when I emptied my heart about my most gut-wrenching experience with writing rejection? The one where the critiquer attacked me as "lazy" because she prefers stories with minimal internal dialogue?
Fast forward to nearly six weeks later: I edited that piece. I even incorporated some of the meanie's feedback. I sent the work off for a professional line edit and you know what? My editor (whom I adore) marked multiple passages with the following comment: "This would be a great spot for some internal thought."
I squinted. I scratched my head. I waded through puddles of frustration ("I just took that out!") and bathed in pools of validation ("See? I knew that was perfect.") as I pieced together these diametrically opposed critiques. And I settled on something I've heard countless times before: Feedback is subjective. You can't please everyone. The hard and fast "rules" are few (and rarely hard or fast).
In the final paces before publication, it all comes down to me.
What was I trying to say?
Did I say it?
Who am I trying to reach?
Do I believe this work, written this way, will reach her?
If I can confidently answer "yes" to questions 2 and 4, well, my work there is done. Let the universe sort out the rest.