‘Batman?’ you say, ‘I’m a writer, I don’t have anything in common with the Dark Knight!’
In the literal sense, no (although what you do in your spare time is none of my business), but there are more similarities than you think. You see, it’s in the practical application and your state of mind before you put pen to paper, where you can take a few tips from the Caped Crusader on how to become a better writer.
Here’s 5 ways you need to be like Batman in order to get the job done:
Be Singular in Purpose
Just as Batman has a single-minded devotion to curing his city of crime, so you have to be committed to the decision of writing. Whether that’s just a promise to do more writing, a specific goal such as doing so many words a day, finishing a manuscript by a certain date, or the lofty aim of getting published, it’s a commitment you must make and stick to.
Have All The Right Equipment
One of the beauties of writing is that you actually don’t need to invest in anything to do it – pen and paper is all it takes. Ol’ Bats has a utility belt of stuff to make his job easier, and if you feel so inclined you too can ameliorate your writing experience with the right kind of equipment.
If you like to write with a pen, then invest in a good, quality pen – one that is comfortable to use and will last you a long time. Treat yourself to a nice notebook to store your ideas and actually make the process of jotting thoughts down a more formal and pleasant. If you use a computer, then something like a laptop stand or an ergonomic keyboard will make the actual physical process of writing easier. And it goes without saying, a comfy chair is a must. Even Batman loves a comfy chair.
Have Great Allies
Batman doesn’t work alone, he has a string of allies and friends to help him. Sitting at your desk and tapping away at a keyboard, you may feel that yours is a lonely goal, and if you don’t have people around you it can quickly become a very demoralising exercise. You need cohorts in creativity – or at least someone who understands what you’re trying to do – for encouragement, for advice, or for cups of tea. The morale boost they’ll give you will be invaluable.
Lead a Double Life
Writing is not your whole life. You have obligations: work, family, friends, and yes even yourself. You’ll need to balance these carefully or you’ll wear yourself out, because sadly you probably don’t have Alfred the butler to do many of your chores.
Just as there’s Bruce Wayne/Batman, there has to be (Your Name)/Writer. Try to find a dedicated allotment of time for nothing but writing or for writing-related things such as sending off manuscripts. Not only will this make you more productive, but it’ll make you feel like you’re a writer, and not just someone who fits a few words here and there in between the ironing and unloading the dishwasher.
Fall Down, Get Back Up
“Why do we fall Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” – Thomas Wayne, ‘Batman Begins’
It’s probably the greatest lesson you can take away from this, because you will fall down. It might be in the form of many, many rejection letters from publishers, or suffering from writer’s block, or even something like forgetting to save a chapter of your work just as your computer decides to have a midlife crisis.
You’re not alone in suffering from those problems – they happen to everyone. What’ll separate you from everyone else is how you choose to deal with it. The important thing is to accept that setbacks happen, learn from them, and then rise to occasion and soldier on toward your goal.
Batman never gives up, and no matter how many words lie between you and success, neither should you.
How do you make sure you are a writing superhero? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!
Robert Smedley is a TV Reviewer and Writer. When not staring at moving images or being creative with ink, he can be found at any bar that serves a good martini.