I’m a famous author.
Or, at least I used to be.
In elementary school I wrote a best-selling book called The Superhero Book.
It was amazing, and shot me to stratospheric heights of local celebrity fame.
Superhero – Doodle
Me and my friend co-authored the book.
One day, we were doodling imaginary superheroes on scrap paper. Cool characters like the “Snowman” and the “T.V. man”. And decided they were awesome enough to paste into a book.
So we cut them out, carefully, and glued them on heavy white paper. Then we duct-taped the spine together. It was a masterpiece of third-grade art.
And then, the book needed words.
So we wrote their biographies in baseball-card style, like favorite food and favorite catchphrase.
We came up with some pretty funny stuff. We thought we were little comedians and everyone loved it.
Superhero – Reading
The teachers loved it too. They made us visit the younger grades for ‘”reading time.”
Me and my friend would stand in front of all these little kids – like an author signing at Barnes & Noble – watching in awe as we flipped the page and read each of the heroes’ likes and dislikes.
And then, my favorite part came at the end.
As a grand-finale, the final page featured “The End Man.” His body consisted of big bubble THE END letters. Just absolutely ridiculous after a long line of funky heroes.
His catch-phrase: “The End.”
And then we’d slam the book shut. Stand to a thunderous applause, and take a bow.
Superhero – Sequel
As word of our fame spread through the school, we inevitably needed a sequel.
Superheroes 2 was born. Another round of incredible heroes with little food allergies. It was epic.
And then, for an encore, we doodled up Superhero Moms. And then a fourth book in Superhero Babies.
We were oozing with creative ideas.
I had never had more fun making something in school, as I did those Superhero books.
Superhero – Fame
But then I experienced burnout.
We were famous. Everyone knew who we were.
We’d be in the cafeteria, eating ham sandwiches and minding our own business, when an adoring fan would tap our shoulder and ask for an autograph.
Ugh. The first time was amazing – we had never felt so loved and adored – but after a while it got old. All those annoying little pests harassing us.
Superhero – Edits
And then my friend wanted me to edit his story. (Because I was a famous author, obviously.)
The story went something like this:
7:00 AM, I woke up. Then at 7:15 AM I had breakfast. It was Frosted Flakes and it was good. Then at 7:30 AM the bus came. That was fine. At 8:00 AM school started.
Um, yeah. You don’t need to be a professional copywriter to know that’s crap.
“Maybe you could quit it with the time-stamping,” I said as helpful advice. “And maybe ramp up the stakes a little.”
Maybe you could do it like this:
At 11:37 AM the superhero arrived. Then a minute later, he saved the world.
Blam! Wow! What a story. It’s full drama and suspense – oozing with tension and unanswered questions – leaving the reader wanting more. What a great start to an epic novel.
He didn’t like my idea. He thought I was a moron.
Superhero – Fun
Now, 20 years later, I think, wow, it was fun to write those stories.
I’d get sucked into the craft of it, designing the heroes and making funny jokes out of their statistics.
I mean we cranked out four books – for fun.
Like literally, who writes four books for fun? Only crazy people, that’s who.
Why did I ever quit?
I didn’t like all the attention. I didn’t like feeling I was wrong. I didn’t like disagreeing with people.
And it felt like I wasn’t taking school seriously. There’s like homework to do and tests to study for.
I’d hear: “You can create comic book characters in your free-time – because right now it’s serious school time.”
You’re too busy studying history, math, and science.
In third grade, how are you supposed to know that creating superheroes is a fulltime job? It’s literally something you can pursue.
But no one ever tells you that.
Besides, who has time to write pointless books that no one will ever read?