Superheroes and Writer’s Block

Superheroes and Writer’s Block October 6, 2019

As is evident from the countless weeks since I’ve published ANYTHING on this blog, I have writer’s block.


As mentioned in previous posts, not only do I write on here, but I also have several other writing projects going, including my finished (but horrifically long, and horrifically unedited) Civil War novel and my all-too-quickly-reaching-the-200k-word-mark-not-even-halfway-through-the-draft vampire novel.

When I’m not working, or eating, or driving, I’m writing.

It’s what I was made to do, and I’ve been doing it since I could hold a pencil.

But it’s been bad, folks.

Painful and humiliating.

This, the one thing I’m good at, and I haven’t been able to pen (or type) a decent word in weeks. Either on my novel draft, or on this blog.

It’s bad enough to have writer’s block on a creative work, especially one with as much free rein as mine gives me, since I’m changing the vampire mythos a bit to suit my needs with my characters.

But all I’ve been doing other than forcing out TERRIBLE paragraphs in my draft is bemusing at how I ever thought my draft was good, that it’s trite and depressing and overly-dramatic, and that my blog posts are even worse. Even trying to come up with something from blog post bullet points I’ve made is nearly impossible.

Depression sucks, yo. It sucks even more when you equate, because of a myriad of reasons that I don’t feel like going into here, your self-worth with your creations. With how they’re going, how they feel, how much you’ve done…or how little.

I love my works…I adore my characters, and I love that I already have some fangirls over my characters that I hope to introduce to the greater world at large soon.

But nights like tonight…weeks like the past few weeks…what am I when my fingers stop typing? What is my worth–do I have worth–when I can’t write?

Writing has been the only thing that’s kept me going for years. I’ve found something in it I’d convinced myself for years didn’t exist–a truth, a happiness, a longing, a foundation. A home. A family.

When I can’t write, I feel like a failure. An embarrassment. A waste of space.

These were all the manner of thoughts I’ve been fighting when a friend of mine sent me links to Deadpool/Spider-Man fanfiction. (The fan trope is called SpideyPool and it’s GLORIOUS).

When I read them, I’m lifted out of the quicksand of my creative failure to forget myself and fall in love with other characters, away from my own, and be grateful that so many people are still giving life to fanfiction, and doing it well, I might add.

I thought about those superheroes whose fanfiction gave me such respite and happiness and squealing, fangirling joy. I thought about those rare nights when their patrols yield nothing, when they show up too late, when the “more qualified” superheroes show up to save the day and do what you couldn’t. I thought about how so many of them, Deadpool, Spider-Man, Iron Man, etc–so many of them live and die by these missions. Granted, Tony Stark has a better built life outside of his superhero escapades, and Peter Parker has a bright future ahead of him.

But Deadpool…he struck me like a dart to the heart. His persona, his trauma, his pain, all resonate so deeply within me that it’s kept me up at night. This, the superhero life with mercenary tossed in, is all he has. Truly. He has his hilarious interactions with Spidey (as he calls him), annoying the Avengers by showing up and trying to help and screwing it up, and he has his blind roommate who is fantastic. But after that, what is there? The emptiness of the surrounding world when his boxes (the voices in his mind that speak to him, and over him, constantly), drowning in alcohol that gives him no relief or release, being in terrible physical pain, and having hallucinations so badly that he shoots himself to stop them since he can’t die, and that’s the only way he can know for sure.

While feeling particularly crappy tonight, a random thought occurred to me…if I could sit on a building ledge with Deadpool, what would he say to these things I’m saying about myself? He would certainly disagree, as he always does when Spider-Man says anything remotely self-deprecating. No one is harder or more condemning of anyone than Deadpool is of himself, and he doesn’t want to see other people do that.

And he’s hilarious, to-boot. And so frigging inappropriate. And sweet. Which is such a big reason he and Spider-Man’s fanfictions are so awesome.

So I’ll just let these thoughts give me some measure of comfort even though my writer’s block (except when writing about writer’s block, apparently) is still there. And I’ll let myself enjoy the modern mythology of our superhero fandoms and pray I find my stride again.

It’s these kinds of things that keep so many of us going, when it all is just too much.

Thank God for media, and for fiction, and for fantastic characters.



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About Jennifer Riley
Jennifer Riley is our co-leader. She’s an emotional writer, engulfing people in her tidal wave of life experiences and interpretations. She’s a bad Catholic, a good sinner, and a pernicious writer who tries to find who she is to herself and to God through her words. You can find her writer page at You can read more about the author here.

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