Friday, November 4, 2016

Why Writers Should Strive to be More Like Batman

Every writer has somebody who has inspired them to write. Often they're others authors: J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien...and all the other great writers who all seem to have initials in their names. We strive to be like them, to study their methods, draw strength from their journeys.

Which is all well and admirable. But you know who we should really be trying to be more like in our writing careers? 

Batman. 

You think I'm joking? I'm not. I'm being dead serious. Or at least as serious as I can be when blogging. Which ranges from about 42% serious to 9 and 3/4 out of 10. 

But back to Batman. Why should we be more like Batman? What parts of his personality should writers work towards? Let me tell you: 
Why Writers Should Strive to be More Like Batman
Have Batman-level self-control
Put that chocolate down and listen to what I'm saying. Have self-control. Discipline yourself and your writing. If Batman can spend his life fighting insane criminals without breaking his one rule, then you can get off of Netflix and write that story of yours. If Bruce Wayne can decide to dedicate his nights to dressing up like a bat and cleaning up Gotham, you can dedicate half an hour out of your day to doing some writing. Cosplaying as a scary animal is optional. Not wearing hockey pants is mandatory. 

Turn everything to your advantage 
You have an hour long commute to work? Bring a tape recorder and outline your next book. Your internet is down for the week? Take the time to go outside and gain inspiration from nature. You have a chronic disease that makes it hard to write? Use it as fuel for a story. Your kids won't leave you alone? Put them to work building a batcave. Every problem you have is something you can use. Take advantage. If something is standing in the way of your writing, you simply walk up behind it and stab it in the heart (If you didn't read that in Liam Neeson's voice, you're reading this wrong). Plan for each problem that's blocking you from writing and find a way to work around it. Your plans should have plans. In fact, you should have a plan for when there is no plan:

Have the "Because I'm Batman!" mentality
So you're having writers block. Or you think your writing couldn't ever possibly get published because you don't have the talent or the time or the energy. You're not about to let that stop you, are you? No. Do you know why? Because you're Batman! Errr. Wait. Because you're...you. You are the only one who can write this story (except for Batman...I bet he has your novel stuffed away in his utility belt somewhere). You may not have the words now, but keep at it and you will. You may not be published now, but keep at it and you will. You may not have a Batmobile now, but keep at it and you will. Why? Because you're you. You are awesome and you are determined and you will let nothing stand in your way. That's all the logic you need. You can make it through the rest of your problems using a utility belt and sheer pigheaded self-confidence: 
This is called the "Because I'm Batman!" mentality, and it has served me well. Or, more accurately, the "Because I'm [insert your name here]!" mentality. Use it. It works. 

Be the writer the world deserves
I've heard from so many writer who think that they'll never get published because their writing isn't mainstream. They think they have to follow the trend or get left behind. Don't do this. Don't be that writer. Be the writer the world deserves, even if it's not the one they think they need right now. So write that book of yours without the sexy teenage love triangle. Pitch your novel that centers around deep, philosophical thoughts. Don't be afraid to be a writer with morals or a writer who puts meaning behind their words.  It doesn't matter if people don't understand what you're doing. Besides, how bad can this possibly go? It's not as if the GCPD are going to come after you. So don't let the world define what kind of a writer you are. Just be the one you know you should be. Speaking of which...

Be willing to work long and hard
Writing a good story takes a long time. It can be lonely. It can be hard. It often goes without recognition. In fact, it's a lot like being a vigilante. Except it doesn't generally involve archnemeses or near-death encounters...unless we're talking about that time when your computer crashed and you ran out of caffeine. Anyway, stop complaining about your writer's block on twitter. Did you ever hear Batman complain? No. So follow his lead and get down to work.

Appreciate your butler...er...readers
If you are fortunate enough to have an awesome British butler, then appreciate to him, too. Just as Batman would be nothing without Alfred, you are nothing without your readers. Remember it. Thank them, treat them well, and keep any green-haired psychos with crowbars away from them. 

The best thing about Batman is that he never gives up. He fights an uphill battle for his entire life on several different fronts: fixing Gotham, keeping his friends alive, maintaining his sanity, sticking to his one rule. He goes through every imaginable ordeal and just keeps coming back. He survived multiple deaths of loved ones, that one comic where he became Zebra Batman...
Just...don't ask.
kept fighting when he had to wear an entire exoskeleton just to walk...
From Kingdom Come by Mark Waid
broke his back multiple times to climb out of the Pit, and was even able to get rid of that bomb back in 1966. And that's just to name a few.

So maybe your story will get rejected by a ton of publishers. Maybe you'll get a few 1-star reviews. Maybe you really aren't any good at any of this writing stuff. But you'll never know if you don't keep trying, will you? So, when you fall, just learn to pick yourself back up again, shake your fist at the sky, scream "I'm [insert your name here]!" in a gravelly voice, and get back to work.

So what do you think? Are you willing to work hard to become a better, stronger, smarter, more Batman-y writer? That's what I'm doing. Who's with me?

Don't forget to tell me about your favorite Batman moment in the comment section below!

Related articles:
Why There's No Such Thing As "Just A Story"
5 Steps to Fighting Off Writer's Insecurity
10 Things Nobody Tells You About Being A Writer...Until It's Too Late

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17 comments:

  1. BRILLIANT! Let us all find out inner Batman and strive for success! :D

    - Lashaan

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    1. YES! We will become part of the Bat family. =)

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  2. Anything Super Cafe is amazing, but if I had to pick a favorite Batman moment in particular, it would be the Super Mario debate :)
    I sometimes feel the duality of being a writer masquerading as a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom by day, and pursuing the dream of being a novelist by night...I think I probably resemble Captain America more than Batman though haha.

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    1. Haha! YES. That's a favorite of mine, too. "Imma Mario!" =D

      I love Batman, but resembling Captain America is probably slightly healthier than resembling Batman. =) Thanks for the comment!

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  3. Fabulous!! You always manage to make me smile. :D cuz.... YOU'RE HANNAH!!!!!!! :)

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    1. This made my laugh out loud, Reigha! I always love hearing from you....Because you're Reigha!! =D

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  4. This was the perfect motivational piece to get me through NaNoWriMo today! I love the thought about a writers work being like a vigilante. It reminds me that all this hard work is going to be worth it.

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    1. Glad to hear it! I often think that writers are vigilantes, superheroes, and thousands of other personalities all wrapped up into one person. =)

      Best of luck with your NaNoWriMoing! It will be worth it. Follow Batman's lead and I'm sure you'll do awesome. =)

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  6. Honestly, I don't know much about Batman, but being a more Batman-like author sounds cool. I'm glad that I'm slowly getting back into writing.

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    1. It's worth a shot! And, if you aren't a Batman fan, you can just find another similar character, find what makes him/her tick, then go for that mindset. =)

      Happy to hear you're jumping back into writing! Best of luck!

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  7. What a clever and inspiring post! I am fully ready to take on the Batman challenge! I have nothing but the utmost respect for writers because I know how hard it is and how discouraging it can be. I find myself constantly looking online for advice as well as book recommendations too. I feel that this a craft that needs to be constantly worked on and I can never learn too much about it. I recently read a book that has literally changed me as a writer. You and your readers must read “Creative Visualization for Writers” by Nina Amir (http://ninaamir.com/). I have to say that I was quite impressed with how this book read; for being largely instructional, I felt almost as if I was being mentored indirectly. And I feel like my writing is coming together so much more naturally than before, thanks to the applied knowledge that Nina Amir so masterfully showcased. The interesting dynamic within this book is that while it teaches a system of finding your creative voice, it also in turn teaches each and every writer to write as an individual. I see this as a double-edged sword and would strongly suggest any writer, rookie or veteran, to give this a thorough read-through. I really hope you will give it a read! I would love to hear what you think

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    1. Yay! Welcome to the Batman challenge, Deborah! Glad to have you. =)

      This book by Nina Amir looks very good! I'll have to check it out. I like the idea of a book that teaches you how to be confident in your creative skills. So many authors are too hard on themselves and their talents. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. Excellent! My Batman'ness has been lacking recently. But I have a few projects in the fire as I shifted fronts for a bit. Thanks for this encouraging post!

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    1. Yay! Full Batman ahead! Wishing you lots of luck on your new projects. =) Thanks for the comment, Micheal!

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