Who is your favorite superhero?
As a child, mine was Wonder Woman.
You may not realize it, but when you become a writer, you embrace your own set of superpowers… just like one of your childhood superheroes.
To be a writer requires a lot more than talent.
If you’re here, you’re committed to your writing and developing your craft, skill, and profession.
Let’s be honest, no matter how much you love it, how long you’ve been doing it, or how talented you are, sometimes being a writer is just downright tough.
Writers are often plagued with doubts about their writing ability and how effective their work is.
These feelings are common… in fact, they’re normal for anyone who writes. It’s these feelings, along with the ability to push through and overcome them, that differentiate writers from everyone else.
The more I write for a living, the more I realize writing itself is a superpower. Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the characteristics you share with some of the most famous superheroes:
As a web writer, you’re putting your work out there for, well… the World Wide Web. Potentially thousands — even millions — of people could read your work.
While this is what you want, it can also be scary. There’s the possibility of all kinds of judgment, criticism, and rejection. Despite this, you rise above your fears and insecurities and do it anyway.
That’s brave. True courage doesn’t mean you’re not scared. It just means you’re determined to do something despite your fears.
Superheroes have a fighting spirit. They might not always win, but they never stop fighting. They don’t win every battle, but ultimately, they do win the war.
Being a superhero doesn’t mean you’ll never fail. It just means you have the determination to get back up and fight again.
As a writer, if your work is rejected, or someone doesn’t like it, you may be disappointed or hurt. But you pick yourself up, dust off your pages, and write again.
Setbacks are part of the journey. No writer who has achieved anything great has a flawless track record. Each one has stumbled, messed up, been rejected or criticized, and then pressed on to create better work.
Tenacity alone is not enough. If you want to succeed, you need discipline, too. This means being committed to practicing, building and mastering your skills.
Discipline also means controlling your emotions when you have a bad day or have to deal with difficult clients and readers. It’s learning to keep calm and not take things too personally.
High Pain Threshold
Superheroes are beaten up regularly, but they continue to fight. What they believe in is more important than the pain they experience.
Writing can be challenging, even painful, on many levels — mentally, emotionally, and physically.
You have to fight the monsters of your mind — whatever they may be — perfectionism, procrastination, fear, or doubt.
There are also external factors to deal with — racing against the clock to study, finding time to write, and growing your business. All in the middle of a busy schedule filled with family obligations and work. Finding the time, energy, and inclination can be tough.
Then, your work could be criticized or rejected.
Any and all of these can deliver blows to your confidence, determination, and journey to success. Yet, when you get up, learn from your mistakes, and keep pursuing your dreams and goals — despite the pain and fatigue — you win.
As a writer, will your pain be fatal? Not to your physical body. But many budding writers’ careers have died, because they couldn’t survive the criticism, rejection, or hard work.
But, like a superhero, you take the blows that come your way, and keep pressing forward toward your goal.
Flaws and Weaknesses
Superman’s weakness is kryptonite; Wonder Woman’s is piercing weapons and her bracelets. Superheroes have flaws. Yet, they understand them and take care to protect themselves against them.
Bruce Wayne said, “Bats frighten me. It’s time my enemies shared my dread.” He made fear his weapon.
As a writer, when you’re publishing your work and building your business, you have fears, too. However, like your favorite superhero, you make yourself aware of them and rise above them to achieve your goals.
Superheroes are loved (and hated) for their extraordinary powers and abilities. They become heroes because they use their powers to help change the world and make it a better place.
Ultimately, that’s what this post is about — how you, as a writer, can use your abilities, talents, and training with words to make the world a better place.
Do these traits really combine into a superpower?
The definition of a superpower is “an exceptional or extraordinary ability.”
You’ve dared to give up the ordinary, to believe in your dreams, and to commit to your goal to achieve the writer’s life. Having the will and consistency to show up — more than your talent, training, or passion — is what makes you a writer.
It’s important to recognize this, because as a writer, I’ll bet you often don’t give yourself enough credit for your skill and determination to write.
You can manipulate words in an infinite number of ways to create an infinite number of effects. They can clarify and crystallize an idea, bring a thought to life, touch a heart or change a mind. They can motivate and inspire people, sell a product, promote an idea, grow a business and support families. Your ability to write gives you almost unlimited power… you might say a superpower.
That’s pretty amazing.
So, next time you’re feeling down about your writing, remember this article. Then grab your pen, journal and laptop, and put on your writer’s cape. Because with these few tools, you’re able to change your world.