[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.
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.
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:
- Using one of the superpowers listed above, write a 250 word passage and share it with us in the comments below.
- 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.
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.