My last post talked about getting to know your Muse. This time, let’s look at the Muse’s counterpart, the Scribe.
The following is an excerpt from The Writer’s Process Workbook.
The Scribe embodies the productive self.
It handles everything from getting your butt in the chair or pen to paper to releasing your finished works to the world. (Yes, the Scribe handles publication.)
The Scribe controls these inner processes:
- Linear, analytical thinking
- Research and organization
- Critical judgment
- Project management
- Focused attention
As writers, we tend to worship the Muse and undervalue the Scribe’s grubbier, more mundane tasks. But without a fully functioning Scribe, your words will never reach the larger world.
If you want to communicate with others through your writing, you need a stable and reliable Scribe.
How Does Your Scribe Take Charge?
As you did with the Muse, think about how the Scribe fits into your writing life. Which of the following best describes your writing discipline?
Maybe you can’t find the time to write. Or you work only when you’re inspired or love the project. That means you wait for inspiration. If this sounds like you, perhaps you have a Slacker Scribe.
Deadlines have little power over you. You rarely complete things to the standard that you want to achieve.
We’ve all spent time with a Slacker Scribe, so there’s no shame here. But if you want to publish your writing, you’ll need to strengthen your Scribe.
Perhaps you start out strong on a writing project, then can’t maintain the pace or find that life gets in the way. You may feel like you end the day farther behind than you started.
Life challenges all of us with competing priorities. But when your Scribe is easily distracted, you find it difficult to finish writing projects.
If you have a reliable Scribe, you have a good handle on how to get projects done. You meet most of your deadlines and obligations. Sometimes, of course, you falter, or you are not as productive as you might like. It’s not always pretty or easy. But when you need to do it, you get the work done.
With a scrupulous Scribe, you never miss a deadline and are meticulous about meeting commitments. You stick to schedules without deviation. You have a reputation for getting remarkable things done, and people often call on you because of it.
Your meticulousness can be a curse if it crowds out creativity and inspiration. You can easily exhaust yourself.
What does your Scribe look like?
If your Scribe shows up differently for diverse types of writing, make a note of it here. (For example, Scrupulous Scribe for business writing, Slacker Scribe for poetry.)
And if your Scribe is a bit of a slacker, don’t worry. You can strengthen it. Consider adding a daily writing practice to your life. It’s like weight-lifting repetitions for your Scribe.
For more ideas on understanding and strengthening your Scribe, refer to The Writer’s Process Workbook: Simple Practices for Finding Your Best Practice.