I think one of the most important things is to learn how to have your best ears on and learn to listen. It is essential that we not be precious about our work otherwise we do it a disservice. If something needs to go, we need to be able to let it go. Put it in another book if you are in love with it! But while readers and cirituqers and even editors are not always right, we must listen to the story and do what is right for it. So if every single person doesn't get something, then maybe it's time to add something in. Or if every single preson stumbles at the same place, it's time to look at that thing and maybe take it out, or smooth it over. You don't want your reader to have any emotional hangnails while they're reading, you know? You don't want to leave something in that is going to take them out of the story. And often times, we are so precious about our words that we forget to listen. So, to sum up, put your best ears on and listen.
I'm a Sotheby's west side realtor by day, an actress-turned children's-book-writer by night, loving to spend time in other people's shoes. I'm also a Regional Advisor Emerita for The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI), stepped down from the Los Angeles chapter after 11 years.