At some point in elementary school, I realized something. I was tall. Not just a little bit tall, either. I stood several inches–in some cases, a whole foot–above my classmates’ heads. Always on the back row of class pictures, always wondering why my body insisted on imitating a giraffe, it didn’t take long for me to develop a serious complex about my height.
EVERYONE teased me about it. Friends, family, neighbors, strangers. Sure, in the scheme of Things I Could Have Been Teased About, being tall? Not so bad. In fact, there are MULTITUDES of short people who would KILL for my height. And now? Oh, I LOVE IT. I wouldn’t trade my five feet and ten inches for anything. It hides excess weight gain, it helps me see at concerts, and I can reach almost anything I want at any store.
But in junior high and high school?
The pretty girls weren’t freakishly tall. The pretty girls didn’t have legs like flamingos. The pretty girls were short, with delicate frames and clear skin.
(Did I mention I also had some pretty awful acne as a teen?)
(Icing on the cake, people.)
As I mentioned earlier, I’m over it. Lots of people are my height, I’m realizing. In fact, there are lots of tall girls at the school where I teach. Lots more than there were when I was in high school. (Are kids getting bigger, or what? What’s going on with that?)
But never fear, Readers! There’s a new insecurity in town! And its name is WRITING!
My characters aren’t as memorable as this other person’s characters.
My setting isn’t as vivid as this other book’s setting.
This person just posted on Facebook/Twitter about their sales and they are BLOWING ME OUT OF THE WATER.
I don’t have as many 4 and 5-star ratings on Goodreads as this other author.
I AM THE TALL GIRL ALL OVER AGAIN.
And this is when I have to tell myself to STOP. Stop comparing myself to everyone else, because they’re not me. They can’t write my books as well as I can because they’re not me. They can’t develop my characters like I can because they’re not me.
I have something they’ll never have.
I am me, and they are not.
And guess what?
You’ve got the same advantage. So let’s stop worrying about everyone else and write the very best book WE possibly can. Who’s with me?