A few things writers and superheroes have in common

image By Ned Hickson
As I’m sure you’ve already gathered from the title of this post, yes: I look really great in tights and a cape. At least on paper. In fact, all writers do. However, the power writers wield with words (such as using four “w” words in a row) — whether (make that five) for inspiration, contemplation or revulsion — got me thinking about the things writers and superheroes have in common. And I don’t just mean how often people confuse me for Chris Hemsworth. At least on paper.

To begin with, like any superhero, every writer experiences a transformation process before going into action. Sure, it doesn’t involve hastily peeling your clothes off to reveal a fancy costume (depending on your genre and dedication to research), or a blinding flash that changes you from street clothes to colorful tights — something for this reporters in my newsroom are extremely thankful. However, while not as dramatic, there is a transformation that takes place as a writer’s body language, facial expression and overall focus shifts from “earthbound” to “alternate universe.” Ever see a photo of yourself immersed deep in writer mode? It’s like looking at someone else. Which, in my case, is often mistaken for Chris Hemsworth. I mentioned the alternate universe part, right?

Speaking of which, like Thor’s mighty hammer, Spiderman’s web-shooters, Green Lantern’s ring or Hulk’s endless supply of purple pants, writers wield their own super-powered tool for getting the job done. I’m talking, of course, about a cranky editor. Haha! Just kidding! That will be next week’s NWOW topic: Things Editors and Super Villains Have in Common. Naturally, the super-powered tool I was referring to is the computer or tablet a writer wields as a defender of the written word. I realize some of you might be saying:

“I don’t write on a computer, so that’s not entirely accurate.”

And I suppose you’re right. The again, Moses was technically the first person to use a tablet, but let’s not split hairs.

Another characteristic that writers and superheroes share is having their powers thrust upon them. Like any superhero, a writer discovers their gift and realizes “With great power comes great responsibility to pick up a second job.” There’s no avoiding who your are, the powers you have been given, or finding the best way to use them. Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker, Jean Grey, Bruce Banner, Clark Kent — they all tried to deny their powers and the responsibilities they carried as a result of what fate had bestowed upon them. In each case, they came to realize they were only living within a shadow of who they were meant to be. The same goes for writers; they return to action because they can’t stop being writers.

So, does all of this mean you should should expect a call from The Justice League or S.H.I.E.L.D.?

Probably not. But as a writer, rest assured you are in the company of some really super friends.

(P.S. This one was for you, Marcia!)


image Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. He ic currently working on his next book, Ned’s Nickel’s Worth on Writing: Pearls of Writing Wisdom from 16 Years as a Shucking Columnist.

38 thoughts on “A few things writers and superheroes have in common

  1. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Can’t type. Can’t even READ, yet. I’m printing this picture out and
    FRAMING it for my Inspiration Board!!!! Hehehehehe. Will be back after I catch my breath and can actually READ your post! (No wonder you’re my favorite jurnalist!!) 😀 😀 😀

    This day is starting off SO much better than yesterday ended! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this post. Yes, even the WORDS. 😀 And I really love the thought of you strolling into your newsroom in tights and a cape. Your coworkers must really be inspired! I know I could get a month or two of columns out of witnessing that on a regular basis.

    I really do like the thought that as writers, we transform ourselves and bring out our super powers every time we sit down at the computer/typewriter/tablet. We create entire worlds, peopled with characters born in our own imagination. What could be more powerful than that?

    And with that thought in mind, I’m going to spend this morning being powerful and writing, by golly. I have a very confused and angsty young man who needs rescuing. I can’t leave him wallowing in misery forever, so time for a rescue. I’m grabbing my Wonder Woman bustier and tights. Now I’m putting them back into mothballs, because they no longer fit. I’ll have to don my Wonder Granny costume instead, consisting of old shorts and a paint-stained, cat hair-covered t-shirt. But nonetheless, once attired, and armed with my Computer of Death & Destruction & Sometimes Sexy Love Scenes, I’m ready to get to work. After all, the World depends on me…even if no one has realized it yet.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Young Ned. Once again, you’ve made me laugh and taught me something. Shazaaam!

    Liked by 1 person

      • And you as well, Ned!

        Hey! We really need our very own superhero themes, don’t we? Something we can pop on the iPod, CD player, Victrola…ooops…did I just give away my age?…and play before work every day. Wouldn’t that be inspirational? I’m going to appropriate a tune I really love and write my own lyrics, so when I’m flagging under a load of too many self-marketing tasks, I can sing it, and motivate myself back into the fray.

        I’m picturing YOU running up and down the stairs to your newspaper building (Oh, I hope it has stairs) to the strains of the Rocky theme, only with appropriate Ned-style lyrics. Yeah, that works. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

          • That one’s great, too, and more fitting, since it does add the tights and cape. You could use a wind machine. (Oh, I can’t believe I gave you a straight line like that.) Once you get it all put together, we want video. On the stairs. With the tights and cape. And the wind. (I’d pay MONEY to see this!)

            Liked by 1 person

              • I saw that! I think you should do the stairs thing, and then start a compilation video…Ned’s Best Moments, except with a funnier name. 😀 You could raise money for charity and stuff. You’d be famous. Famouser, I mean. Sell copies at your book signings, and all. Oh, yeah. I’ve definitely had enough Earl Grey this morning. (And enough tea, too. Bada-boom.) Going off to write now. My angsty young man is still in need of rescue. Have a great day, Young Ned. Let me know when you get started on that video. 😀

                Liked by 2 people

  3. See what happens when I leave the room for a few minutes to look for my gold bracelets? I miss everything! 😉

    Believe it or not, I’m actually on deadline so I will have to bow out for now. Thanks for the early-morning chuckles, ladies, and have a wonderful day!


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