The last few weeks have been interesting. I have had a series of compliments about my appearance. Last week, as I was out walking my dog, a guy in a truck drove past and almost hit a trashcan while staring at me. I gave myself a quick check to make sure that there was nothing exposed that shouldn't have been, but I appeared to be fully clothed. This was both confidence-inspiring and confusing. I, like many women, am not a huge fan of my body. I consider myself to be slightly on the pretty side of average, as far as appearances go, but I can rattle off a list of things that I don't like about the way I look. When I get compliments, it's out-of-place with the way I look at myself.
I feel the same way about my writing as I do about my body. I'm on the good side of average. I can write a story that has a coherent plot, my grammar and spelling rock (thanks, Dad!), and I feel that I can keep a reader's interest, at least for a little while. Every once in a while, though, I'll share my work with someone and get a really nice comment. For example, my friend Cavid (not his real name) read and line-edited a story that I was submitting, and told me that he thought my voice was very similar to Neil Gaiman. This was AWESOME! At the same time, it was confusing and scary. Do I really sound like someone who is so insanely popular and talented? Is this a good thing? (I was assured that it is a good thing.) It just doesn't fit with the way I look at my writing.
What's the moral of this post? You know, I'm really not sure. Maybe I need to re-examine the way I look at myself, both as a person and a writer. Or maybe the world's standards are just dropping. (See? I can't manage to squash that inner critic!)