This weekend, millions of people, including me, will head out to see the new Superman movie, Man of Steel.
What if you, the new writer, had the arsenal of powers that Superman has to help with your creativity?
I’ve taken liberty with redefining the Man of Steel’s five main powers and applied them to the writing life … just for super-fun!
Though Superman uses this power most often to move quickly from place to place, he also used it to remove himself from all the action. Remember that Fortress of Solitude he used for rest and contemplation?
Writers need to take flight and retreat from the busyness of the day. Do you have a special place for writing? Whether it be to a separate room or your favorite couch, get away every day and spend time alone working on your craft. That’s an essential practice if your goal is to become a better writer.
Superman can lift a car over his head. He moves planets. His superhuman strength is his signature power.
Writers work with their own brand of super-strength: courage — that ability to do something that frightens you. Sharing your writing with friends or strangers for the first time — no, EVERY time — takes courage. And there’s the ever-present rejection that comes with submitting your work for publication. You need a certain type of super-strength to not become discouraged, to keep submitting, to keep writing. Be strong and of good courage!
He’s not called the Man of Steel for nothing. Try shooting bullets at Superman. They bounce off his chest. No oxygen in space? No problem. Nuclear blast? He brushes the debris off his cape. Nothing of this world keeps him from completing his mission.
For writers, this invulnerability goes hand-in-hand with super-strength. With courage comes the ability to withstand the emotional attacks that are sure to come when you set out on the super-mission of sharing your writing with the world.
Attacks can include
- lack of confidence
- ridicule from family and friends
- fear of rejection
- writer’s block
- technology and social media phobia
All writers will feel attacked at some time, in some way, during their writing careers. Prepare for it — it’s an inevitable part of the writing life. But the super power comes when you choose to not let the attack keep you down. Sure, you’ll feel the blast, but expecting it will help you to better withstand it.
The first Superman movie (1978) has one of my favorite movie scenes: Lois Lane dies in an earthquake and Superman was too late to save her. But wait — he’s Superman! He flies at super-speed around the Earth until it reverses its rotation, altering human history to bring Lois back to life.
This is a super-practical power. Use it when you’re working on the first draft of a story or article. Write from your heart and get the words down as quickly as you can. Too often we fuss and fret about getting our words just right the first time through. Write with freedom and look forward to the later times of revision to fine tune your work.
5) Vision powers
The Man of Steel has a slick menu of vision powers: x-ray, heat-emitting, telescopic, infra-red, and microscopic vision. Pretty powerful stuff.
Writers have something even better: creative vision.
As a fiction writer, you have the power to create worlds unknown, bring people to life who don’t exist, and take your readers on journeys they’ll remember forever, even though they never leave their homes.
As a non-fiction writer, your vision is the key to facts, clarity, knowledge, opinion, and beliefs. Readers depend on and delight in your provision of information.
Superman can only dream about having a power as amazing as this one. Use it well.
So how do you feel now, Super Writer? Ready to flex those writing muscles and start enriching the world with your work?
Who’s your favorite superhero? Let me know in the comments.