Not the people who read what we write, but the instinct we ourselves have while reading.
We’re taught not to trust it. Why? I don’t know, but we have to change it. (And accept when we’re wrong.)
In workshops over the years when giving my opinion I found myself saying things like, “I don’t know, I could be crazy,” or “I’m probably wrong, but…” a lot. In English classes many of my peers would finish their sentences with, “I’m not sure though.”
We aren’t sure of our opinion. Granted, we might very well be wrong, but we’re so scared to actually be wrong we sit in the middle. That way if we are right, then good for us, but if we’re not- we figured we were wrong already. We don’t want to be disappointed in ourself, so we don’t even believe what we say- or our critique on other people’s work.
We should stop. I’m not saying believe everything that you say one hundred precent and never give up on the thought. No, but if we have an opinion we should be confident in the fact that it’s an opinion and be okay if our opinion isn’t shared…or is just wrong.
If we say, “I’m probably wrong, but F. Scott Fitzgerald did his best work with Tender is the Night, then why would someone take the time to even see if you’re right because you already doubt yourself.
We should trust our readers instinct- trust our opinions; our critiques. If they’re proved wrong, or you’ve changed you mind with more information then accept it. That’s it. We learn, we grow, but we don’t need to doubt everything we think.