I’m often working hard to write late into the night these days, fighting a never ending battle against Writer’s Block and Written Diarrhea that it feels too epic for a human writer. As a result, I have conjured up my vision of a writing superhero to visualize my glorious quest to push me through any barrier that stands in my way. I call him Nightwriter, and his symbol is that W you see to the right!
The keyboard is Nightwriter’s weapon, as well as nemesis. When faced with Writer’s Block, Nightwriter taps out thoughts recklessly on his keyboard. He does this even if the thoughts were not cohesive, or even coherent in some cases. The keystrokes rattle like a machine gun, spraying the screen to shred that solid background into a weakened mesh of holes in the shapes of characters. Nightwriter knows what while Written Diarrhea will eventually come and wipe much of it away, he also knows that if he shot enough, some of it will eventually stick.
In contrast, when faced with Written Diarrhea that remove swaths of his own writing at a time, Nightwriter will fight to find parts worth saving, or keeping under some edited form. Here, the thoughts are endless, endlessly rereading what is there to revise with different words or ways of expressing something similar. Done by brute force of one tiny tweak at a time until something works, eventually, the whole thing works.
On most nights currently, Nightwriter, Writer’s Block, and Written Diarrhea battle is a grind. Nightwriter always wins, but often, not by much. The occasional night, it’s an onslaught for Nightwriter. However, as enjoyable as those nights are, it doesn’t make for a good story without much of a struggle. At least that’s what I tell myself on nights when it is a struggle. Nobody goes to see walkover sports games or movie battles. There has to be a struggle, because without a struggle, there is no hero, only protagonist, and anybody can be that. It takes something more to be a hero, something much more, and I want to be that, because I have that.
So what will happen when I become a better writer with practice, and turn out far more words per night than now? Will Nightwriter no longer exist? Or be the hero he is currently and get reduced to just another protagonist? What then?
I’m not sure what then, to be honest. Nightwriter may indeed have an existential crisis and no longer be much. He may only have to fight Writer’s Block and Written Diarrhea occasionally rather than nightly, and usually in less epic battles than now. Nightwriter might become more of a productivity machine than a superhero fighting villains. However, he will always be up for the challenge. Also, pending his writing standards then, he may even lose once in a while! At least that’ll make things more interesting than the current foregone conclusions that must get old soon, as well as every battle being epic. It’s not even like that in the comics!
So yes, in the future, Nightwriter will become more like a real superhero as my writing gets better. He will fight battles big and small, epic and not, winning and losing, rather than winning a nightly epic battle. That’s no storyline, either. If superheroes were the products of writing, then how appropriate would that be that my writing superhero becomes more believable with time as my writing gets better?