Last night, I shared the first three chapters - the 'new' chapters of 'Blue' - with a writer friend. She applauded the changes. I had decided to go back and, not start over, but look at it with my own gut and my Muse's input and get rid of some of the 'stuff' that I put in as suggested by others. I, too, feel it's clearer.
I know we're supposed to have an editor and/or a critiquer going over our writing, to help find errors in content and fluidity, and also to make sure the characters are consistent and the arc flows. But putting my work into someone else's hands has not resulted in work that is true to me. Somewhere along the way, we have to take in and asses what others offer, but then be sure it is still our own work.
With these thoughts in mind, I have offered up the first three chapters of 'Blue' to my critique group (if anyone shows up). I told them the comments by the last 'professional' critiquer and asked them if they felt the same. It will be interesting - getting their input. I trust them.
As for being critiqued by professionals, I think I have paid my last dollar and given my last MS to a 'professional' critiquer. I'm not sure I am receiving good advise.
Life is convoluted.