Writers Have Superpowers

by Matt Herron | 8 comments

[callout]Our new book, Scrivener Superpowers, is now live! Check out the book that readers say “transformed my writing process.” Learn more about the book here.[/callout]

From time to time, I get disheartened about writing. Some sessions are so difficult that it takes me hours to string together a couple paragraphs. Other moments find me staring out the window at a day so bright and a sky so clear that I would like nothing more than to walk in nature—if it weren’t for the deadlines sneaking up on me.

Writers Have Superpowers

Once in a while, a bad night of sleep has me questioning the entire endeavor. If I had just stuck with programming, my tired mind complains, echoing the short-sighted line of reasoning critics in my life have been harping on since I decided to become a writer, I’d be making way more money right now.

During moments when my natural enthusiasm for the craft of writing wanes, it’s useful to have a secret weapon to draw from my arsenal that reinvigorates my mind and makes me excited about working again.

That secret weapon is the certain knowledge that writers have superpowers.

3 Superpowers Writers Have

Here are a few of those writing superpowers and how we use them to make the world a better place.

1. Writers Time Travel

Writers are voyagers through time and space.

Without leaving their chair, a writer can visit Victorian England, a New York speakeasy during the Roaring Twenties, or Imperial China during the Ming dynasty. Using nothing more than a skill with words, a writer conjures the atmosphere and mannerisms of those eras, and shows people laughing, loving, and even dying for a noble cause.

Not only do writers travel back in time, but they hop forward as well. They visit places that don’t yet exist but which seem as real in the mind of the reader as if they lived there.

Using this superpower, writers help troubled teens escape the hardships of their lives. They help readers imagine a brighter future, and give people hope.

2. Writers Create Worlds from Nothing

Writers create entire worlds from nothing.

You might think a writer is just sitting there staring at a computer screen, but in reality they’re conjuring a world and populating it with living people.

Stories have longer lifespans than any creature of flesh and blood. Isn’t it worth all the heartache and sweat you pour into your work if it means you’ve created something that will live on after you’re gone?

The superpower of creating something from nothing also inspires others. It shows born writers that they can do it, too. It brings good into the world by offering a unique perspective that would never have existed without your work.

3. Writers Are Telepaths

Writers practice telepathy, the communications of thoughts or ideas from one mind to another.
“All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree,” Stephen King wrote in On Writing, “but I believe that writing is the purest distillation.”

Don’t take for granted the ability to show a reader the image you see in your own mind through the medium of your words. Don’t get so distracted by worldbuilding or word count that you forget the reason you started writing in the first place.

Everyone’s reasons are different. I write not to craft a flawless sentence—though it’s nice when that happens—but to transfer images to the minds of my readers, images that connect to form stories that make people feel something.

Practice telepathy so that you can build castles in the reader’s mind, and show them that magic still exists.

Master Your Abilities

Like all powers, writing comes with a great responsibility. I don’t sit at the keyboard every day to experience drudgery—I do it it make a difference in the world.

That’s why I’m committed to sitting down every day and practicing, even when the going gets tough. This exercise reminds me what’s important so that I don’t lose sight of my goal.

Still, try to get out and enjoy nature once in a while. Even superheroes need a vacation.

Superheroes Also Use Cutting-Edge Technology

Did you ever see Batman driving a clunker? Do the Flash and his friends use anything but the latest scientific technology to save Central City? Think about Iron Man—does he rely on weapons or thrusters that are anything less than the best when he’s fighting crime?

Writers have superpowers, but in order to save the lives of their readers they also need to use the best tools.

The one tool I recommend to all my writer superfriends is Scrivener. And if you need help getting started with Scrivener, or just want to see what all the fuss is about, I recently wrote and published a book with The Write Practice called Scrivener Superpowers: How to Use Cutting-Edge Software to Energize Your Creative Writing Practice.

Check it out. You may be able to create new worlds, travel through time, and use telepathy without it…but don’t you deserve the best? Your readers will appreciate it.

Learn more about the book here

What are your favorite writing superpowers? Let us know in the comments.


It’s my hope that after demonstrating that writers have superpowers, you’re inspired and excited to get to work again mastering your abilities. Now for the fun part:

  1. Using one of the superpowers listed above, write a 250 word passage and share it with us in the comments below.
  2. Have an ability I didn’t list? Write a summary of your superpower. Include how you use it and tell us how it makes a difference in the world. Share what you wrote in the comments below so that other writers can be inspired and use the superpower to make a difference, too.

Happy writing!

Matt Herron is the author of Scrivener Superpowers: How to Use Cutting-Edge Software to Energize Your Creative Writing Practice. He has a degree in English Literature, a dog named Elsa, and an adrenaline addiction sated by rock climbing and travel. The best way to get in touch with him is on Twitter @mgherron.


  1. LaCresha Lawson

    Awwww, I’m so proud to be a writer! How awesome!

    • sherpeace

      Yup! Me too! 😉 <3

  2. S.C. Roberts

    Today’s Practice Exercise

    Paradise Questioned

    The discomfort of sweat soaked sheets drove Bryce out of bed at two in the morning. Dehydration turned the spittle, harboured in the crannies and crevices inside his mouth, into sticky saliva that combined with last night’s pizza residue to papier-mâché his tongue to every surface it touched. Dislodging it took a concentrated effort that only added to his exhaustion.

    In need of moving air, he grabbed a well- chilled bottle of water then headed outside. By the time bare feet padded across the deck, condensation blisters encased the surface of the water bottle while perspiration made his body tacky to the touch. He rolled the cold, wet plastic over his naked flesh. The shock of its frigid surface against heated skin felt good, bordered on seductive. But had it been a woman, the oppressive heat promised to leave them both unsatisfied.

    Protected from neighbour’s prying eyes byway of fences and lush screens of palms and bamboo planted in raised sandstone garden beds, the breeze skipped over the rooftop and foliage. Offered itself, instead, to those who understood the benefits of uninhibited airflow in tropical climes where humidity often sat at ninety-five percent. He heard it whisper through the trees – suffer you stupid fools.

    The sound of waves lapping against jetty piers drew him toward the river. Dressed in boxer shorts, he sat upon roughhewn boards and watched a moonlight beam shimmer on the blackened water. In his solitude, Bryce questioned whether his self-imposed exile was the right decision.

  3. John Thomson

    Through the ravages of time, abusive parents and poor judgement I spent most of my youth and early adulthood in prison. It occurred to me that if I was going to improve my lot in life I was going to have to overcome a great deal of difficulty. A prison school teacher told me God could change my life. After 3 days and nights I asked myself, what if she is right? So I told God, if what she says is true, that you can change my life, not me, then I accept your Son as my Saviour. He did change my life, and the prison school teacher’s as well, 2 years after my release, we were married. (36 years ago) Unemployment soon followed and I had to overcome a work history that showed no marketable skills. A shortcoming no doubt I inherited from our nation’s prison system. So, I wrote a letter. In the letter I stated three things, 1) I had just got out of prison. 2) I accepted Christ as my Saviour and was turning my life around. 3) I had the rudimentary skills of a bookkeeper. “In your position as the head of your company and your expertise, what would you recommend I do in pursing a work career.” Respectfully, John C Thomson. I then sent the letter, based on a list printed in Crain’s Business Report to the top 20 privately owned companies in Chicago, and addressed them to the CEO or President of each company. I also included large companies in Evanston, Il. where I lived. Three weeks later, a man called me and said he didn’t have much to offer and it didn’t pay that much, but I could start Monday in the Billing Department of Leo Burnett, USA. I was hired over the phone sight unseen. 6 months later, my wife found out she was pregnant with our first child. I needed a new job making a lot more money. The phone rang, “I have had your letter sitting on my desk for 6 months but haven’t known what to do with it. Frankly, I didn’t have any openings then but with the new year starting in September, I have several. On September 17, 1981 I started my new job (based on the original letter) at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Il. I consider this my best example of writing ever.

    • S.C. Roberts

      Very inspiring, John. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring story, John. All the best with the rest of your life and your writing.

  4. lise

    thank you for reminding me of all the powers open to me

  5. Gary G Little

    Question? Why does hero or villain all wear some form of spray painted spandex? Why can’t they just wear bluejeans, flannel shirts, or sweats? Think about it. Want to be incognito when saving the world, or trying to walk away unnoticed, after saving the world? Sweats and hoodie would be better than yellow or red spandex with matching cape. Ok, true, Hulk does not wear spandex. But Hulk is ten feet tall and gamma ray green. Uh? Incognito?

    But up, up and away! The guy in blue tights and a red cape dove to the bottom of the San Andreas fault, then bench pressed it back into place. Leaping back into the sky, he flew faster than the speed of light, and reversed the Earths rotation, so he could save Lois the day before.

    The green behemoth grabbed Loki and smashed him to the left, bashed him to the right, bammed him to the front, and whammed him to the back. The green hulk stopped with nothing left to mash, said “Stupid god,” it growled and leapt off. Loki, a Demi-God after all, lay there, and whimpered.

    I am all of them, and you don’t want to see this portly person in spandex. I am the teacher that taught you language and grammar. I taught you graphics arts. Maybe I’m the cop or the fireman that seemed ten feet tall when you were seven. I am the soldier and his dog in the news-cast you saw saving the kid in the rubble. I am the neighborhood bully that became your super villain that your super hero defeats. I am your inspiration.

  6. Lauren

    Lori stepped off the train. The doors opened from the sides exposing the concrete platform. Her shoes were dirty and nearly too big, but she tried not to focus on the korns that had formed on the sides of each foot. The journey to this point had been long and daunting. She had braved the hot, dry desert on her own. As a part of her training she had even learned to douse water below the dusty surface of the ground. In all the months she spent as a wanderer in the foreign land she was preparing for this venture.

    She grabbed her backpack and began to walk toward the exit. Quickly bounding up a steep flight of stairs to the streets above Lori found her racing heart replacing the pulsating pains in her feet. This was New York City and ready or not it was about to change. Lori blinked as the bright sun reflected off of her glasses. For a week she had been on the underground railway. She had come a long way and it was time to finally carry out her mission. The plan had been set into motion and its success was up to Lori. The fate of her once free nation laid in her hands. She was a master assassin, trained well in the art of survival, and she was ready to take down The Regime.


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